From the small pilot programme set up in 2012 by Lilian Pickin, YA representative for Huntingdon DFAS, the collaborative project between NADFAS and Hinchingbrooke Hospital has flourished. There are now 15 local primary schools and 4 secondary schools involved. Each school receives a £100 donation to their art department (as token recognition of the art materials and expertise needed to support the project). This sum is raised from the Huntingdon NADFAS members who each donate via a £1 levy per person on visits.
A start-up donation from the Patricia Faye fund (Central NADFAS) was more than matched by the Hospital Charitable Fund. The money was used to build and maintain a series of display boxes fixed to the white corridor walls of the hospital, and to provide each participating school with a large portfolio case which allows safe transport of artwork between school and hospital. Each school also has an identified volunteer, who acts as go-between taking information about local initiatives and transporting art between the school and hospital as and when required. It is the success of the volunteers, each of whom develops a personal involvement with one or two schools, that explains the sustainability of the project. Thank you to all who give freely of their time and expertise. Now in its third year, the links between hospital and surrounding schools are stronger than ever, and requests are being made to utilise the established network of volunteers to introduce and support a number of other projects.
Over the next 12 months, the volunteers will be supporting a county-wide competition for primary and early secondary school age groups, involvement with the national festival to celebrate the tercentenary of Capability Brown’s birth as well as the ongoing project with the hospital. Feedback from the corridor art collection is excellent, with many visitors, patients and staff commenting frequently, recognising the ability of the children’s art to raise a smile or start a conversation. In the otherwise stark and clinical environment, the art provided by the local schools is a welcome diversion. The children are rewarded by events arranged at the hospital involving cake and jelly (provided by the catering department) and introductory visits to the hospital (the 999 club). In this way, children are introduced to the hospital environment without themselves being ill or injured; at the same time they are beginning to understand the pleasure that their art can bring.
Several areas have commissioned work from the schools. Design of logos has been a particularly productive line, most recently displayed by the successful competition to design a logo for the hospital restaurant, named the Garden Restaurant. Two nine year old boys from one of the local primary schools produced the design which was then transformed into a professional and reproducible format as shown below:
The boys and their school were delighted to receive a ceramic plate each decorated with the design which is now in use in the restaurant.
The annual competition hosted by NADFAS with the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), resulted in nearly 400 amazing works of art submitted by 55 NADFAS societies nationally. 34 of the submitted art works were selected by a panel of RBA judges to be framed and exhibited in London during spring 2016. The students have the title of RBA Scholars for the duration of the exhibition.
One of the winners comes from our area: Caryssa Jason from Sawtry Village Academy, for her piece entitled Italian Roofscape. For the full story about our involvement, please see the article below.
Cambridgeshire YA co-ordinator
YA rep for Huntingdon DFAS
Congratulations to Jill who was honoured in 2016 by the Marsh Christian Trust, in cooperation with NAFDAS, for her work in Young Arts for which she was praised for her outstanding contribution.
NADFAS RBA Exhibition 2016
It all began last autumn when Jill Donnelly, Lilian Pickin and I visited four local Secondary Schools in search of exciting work by talented ‘A’ Level students for submission in the R.B.A competition. We submitted several pieces from each school but it was a Sawtry V.A student, Caryssa Jason whose print ‘Italian Rooftops’ that was chosen. We were thrilled to pieces; it was a real coup for us all. Hunts DFAS assisted her in mounting and framing the work and it was then ready to be exhibited at the Mall Gallery during Spring 2016. It was one of 34 national exhibits by 16 -18 year olds chosen from over 350 items submitted.
I visited the exhibition recently and was impressed by the standard, creative flair and diversity of the work on show.
The gallery had a light, modern interior and the room devoted to the NADFAS exhibition was spacious. There were portraits, landscapes, drawings and prints on display - some very bold and some quite delicate, each showcasing an impressive range of skills. Some students' work was for sale for a few hundred pounds - most were not but the precious preserve of proud parents instead.
Although many members will be familiar with Caryssa's print, I thought it would be interesting to give everyone a taste of what else was on show:
The exhibits all ‘held their own’ quite comfortably alongside the adjoining exhibition of work by professional artists priced at thousands of pounds. We have invited Caryssa to join us for the June lecture if she is available, and hope she will be able to bring the picture with her so that all those attending the AGM will be able to see it.
I’ve included (on the right) one other picture by Caryssa Jason titled 'Contemplative Nude', a NSA submission but exhibited in the same space. I thought it worth including so members could appreciate the breadth of her ability. She will be going on to study at Anglia Ruskin from this autumn and it would seem that a promising artistic career lies ahead of
Charlie by Rebecca Nipps
Grandpa by Martha Dobson
Man with Apple by Nathan Ward
Above:Peppers by Claire Thurgood
On left:Seated Angel by Eleanor Bell