Friday 10 June 2011

Open Arts - Social Inclusion

Open Arts is a community arts project for people who have had experience of mental health problems and would like to engage into the community by making artwork within a group setting. The courses offer an opportunity to learn new art skills and techniques within a safe and supportive environment. No art experience is necessary, but if participants have experience in art the artists offer support to develop skill and interest, and people can work at their own pace. Groups are run in community based venues, and people can be referred by a mental health professional, or they can self refer. Open Arts aims to offer people opportunity to move forward as part of society, challenging the stigma of mental health, with people from all different backgrounds working together with a common interest in art.
Open Arts aims to offer opportunities to participants over and above the structured courses, including gallery visits and the chance to exhibit artwork, to encourage participation in the widest sense. Towards the end of course, we also signpost participants on to other opportunities such as further learning and volunteer opportunities.
Course example: Courses vary depending on the artist tutors and group interest. We also welcome those with interests in other art forms including creative writing, music and performance.
Week 1 - Mark Making - Using graphite, charcoal, pencils and various surfaces
Week 2 - Observational drawing techniques
Week 3 - Soft pastel and Oil pastel techniques
Week 4 - Watercolour and Aquarelles
Week 5 - Mixed media - including Pen and Ink and Acrylics
Week 6 -7 Printmaking
Week 8 - Silk painting and Batik techniques
Week 9-10 - 3D Art including plaster and mod roc
week 11-12 - Composition time and finishing off
I felt I was treated as an artist, not a person with mental health problems
I would recommend it to anyone to give it a try
Open Arts has changed the way I feel about my life, and I got so much out of it that I became a volunteer with the project.
This is the first time Ive ever exhibited my work and its brilliant to see it up there!
Courses take place in various venues across South Essex, including Rochford, Southend, Westcliff, Basildon, Benfleet , Wickford, Grays and Tilbury.
Click below for their website.

For further information about Open Arts, please contact:

Hannah Cridford 
Arts Project Co-ordinator South West Essex
07507 191853 
Emmy Narbutas
Arts Project Co-ordinator South East Essex
07507 192178

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