This Spring THAT network has been organising and running CPD workshops in order to broaden the practice, skills base and confidence of primary and secondary art teachers in Tower Hamlets Borough. The government and indeed schools currently make no provision for such training despite the clear benefits to teachers and students alike and therefore THAT has made it a mission to ensure that this provision is made with a ‘bottom up’ approach to delivery. With the support of THAMES we are able to offer these CPD opportunities to teachers for free and to involve local artists and practitioners. So far two workshops have taken place, one hosted by Bishop Challener and run by artist Julia Clarke in wire and willow and one at St Paul’s Way Trust, run by their technician and resident artist Paul Wye and focusing on combinations of printmaking.
As an artist teacher myself I benefit hugely from being involved in these workshops and they translate directly into my own practice and therefore to the practice of my students. See below some of the work completed only a week later by pupils who came in to school during the holidays to take on the opportunity to learn the lithography process. These oil based inks are incredible as they make the prints more versatile – they can then be painted over due to the resist nature of the inks or overprinted to create depth and layers in their compositions:
For more information and downloadable resources including the artists Powerpoints and step by step guides to the processes we studied, go the the THAT network website.
I am delighted to announce that a project very close to my heart – the Tower Hamlets Artist Teacher Network – co-founded by myself and artist Ania Bas, launched in December 2013. The first network event, kindly hosted by Central Foundation Girls School, brought together over 30 creatives including a majority of secondary art teachers from the borough as well as local artists and representatives from local organisations. The first meeting included discussions about the potential of the network, the state of education and how to preserve and celebrate the arts in these challenging times and subject specific CPD provided by CFGS’s own art department staff.
This year Ania Bas and I will be donning our THAT hats and working closely with The Whitechapel Gallery, delivering CPD sessions for secondary art teachers in connection with their exhibitions as they launch.
Following on from the success of our October 2013 workshop based on the Sarah Lucas retrospective, we will be adopting a similar format for the next event, including an exhibition tour and a practical curriculum linked workshop. The next workshop takes place Wednesday 5th February, 4.30-6pm, and will focus on their next major show- Hannah Hoch. To join us click the hyperlink here and book a place!
Hope you have had a restful winter hibernation and I do hope to see you at one the above events this spring!