Whitley Arts – Creating a platform for budding creatives

March 20, 2013 by
Filed under: Education Matters, Fellowship 

It’s nice to be able to show others our work, especially my grand parents who live far away. Laura Warick-Student

As part of my role within the RSA I am lucky to be able to constantly see the creativity of students of our Family of Academies.  On a recent visit to Arrow Vale and Ipsley I saw some highly original and thought provoking pieces; this is of course true across many of the nation’s schools, youth centres and community spaces.  At Whitley Academy the same is true. They are especially passionate about student artwork and creative thinking.

Staff, students and parents are really proud of the original and inspiring student work.  It is great to share! Lorraine Allen-Principal

Milliner to the stars, Stephen Jones, visited the school for a day in early November of 2011 to advise pupils doing A-level Art and BTEC Art on how to design a hat. They handed in their finished designs as course work to count towards their final marks. Mr Jones designs hats for celebrities as diverse as Marilyn Manson and Beyoncé Knowles at his studio in London’s Convent Garden.

The Principal Lorraine Allen has been considering her students exceptional artwork and felt that students work should not be kept behind Whitley Academies four walls.  She has been working with staff to create a belief that students should be working to “be the best they can be”.  From then on it became a case of how student art work was shown to a wider audience and not when.  The school worked in partnership with students and agreed that Whitley Arts would be developed as an online portal to promote and inspire current and budding artists from Whitley Academy.  There are separate pages to promote work created by students in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 along with an e-commerce page which allows anybody to purchase works of art that students have created in a range of different medium from postcards to A2 canvas prints.

Whitley Arts will underpin learning and interest in the Creative Arts at Whitley Academy by using student artwork as a focal point, and by encouraging a culture of innovation, inspiration, and personal development. The RSA/RBS report Disrupt Inc. highlights the need to allow young entrepreneurs to develop in their own way. Hopefully Whitley Arts will help open students eyes to the possibility of creating work that is admired and coveted by the public in the future.  Through negotiations with artists and the Academy it was agreed that artists would receive 25% of the sale price of each piece sold with the remainder used to support the arts, the students, and their learning at Whitley Academy.  Please visit the site to see some of the creative work developed by students.

I am sure our students are as proud as I am, especially as it is now no longer just our community who gets to see our students talent, but also an international audience. Miss Riach-Creative Arts Teacher

The RSA’s Family of Academies are continually looking at ways to improve student learning and enhance their experiences.  If you have any ways of supporting the Academies in the arts or any other field then please feel free to contact me via email at richard.pickford@rsa.org.uk or on twitter where I’m @pickfordrich

Next month on the 18th of April we will be hosting our second Fellowship Roadshow.  RSA Academy in Tipton will be opening its doors to Fellows who feel they can support the work of staff and students.  Please contact me for more details.

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