Posted 16th June 2016
This year's Children's Art Week 2016 is from 11-18 June 2016. As part of this event, Watts Gallery – Artists' Village will host an exhibition of artwork created by pupils from local schools. This free exhibition, Delight in Watts, will be open 19 June and is the culmination of a project run by the Artists' Village in partnership with Surrey-based charity, Delight.
Delight works with disadvantaged Surrey communities, using the transformative power of the arts to improve literacy outcomes in primary school children. Watts Gallery – Artists' Village is thrilled to have collaborated with Delight, an organisation whose mandate reflects the Artists' Village's founding principles of Art for All.
During the project, school pupils visited the Artists' Village to learn about the life and work of artists G F and Mary Watts. The children explored the sculptures, paintings and creative materials of G F Watts in Watts Gallery and visited Watts Studios. The students learned how Mary Watts created gesso panels and saw the sketchbook she created while travelling through Egypt, before creating their own modroc sculptures.
Once back at school, the students worked with artist Hannah Maiya-Mills to create their own Egyptian-inspired paintings and to work towards their Discover Arts Award. Sculptures and paintings from these sessions will be included in the exhibition at the Artists' Village.
During the programme, the class teacher reported that classroom engagement was 100%, adding, 'This never happens.' Many children showed an improvement in both the quality and quantity of their written work and all showed a high level of topic knowledge.
Many children described their visit to the Artists' Village as, 'The best day of my life.' The project made a colossal impact on one particular boy whose confidence and classroom engagement increased enormously during the programme. From producing a single sentence of written work in an entire lesson, he was inspired to create a whole side of A4.
The class teacher reports that the experience has connected the student to education. 'He told me today he feels so proud of himself, and he's nervous of exhibiting his artwork, as he's worried it won't be good enough. When you see what the children have done, you'll be blown away!'
The Children's Art Week Exhibition will be open to the public on 19 June from 10.30am to 5pm in the Old Kiln.
Learn about school visits to the Artists' Village here.
Learn more about Children's Art Week here.
Learn about Delight and their programming here.