In the summer Great Yarmouth’s National Art & Design Saturday Club completed its pilot year with a fantastic exhibition at Somerset House in London! Clubs from around the country came together to showcase their members’ creative talent and The Saturday Club founders, Sir John and Lady Frances Sorrell, presented certificates to all the young people who took part.
The National Art & Design Saturday Club was set up in 2009 with the aim to offer every young person between the ages of 13 and 16 the chance to study art at their local university or college for free, inspiring creativity in the younger generation and offering insight into studying at college or university and an understanding of careers within the creative industries. The Saturday Club now offers four different pathways: Art & Design, Fashion & Business, Science & engineering and Writing & Talking, and there are more than 50 Clubs nationwide that make up this creative network network.
Great Yarmouth’s local Saturday Club is run by East Coast College and Time & Tide Museum (Creative Collisions youth arts network). There has been an ongoing partnership between the art department at the college and the museum through Creative Collisions for some time now, collaborating on projects such as the GY Carnival and Crafting History.
“The idea to run the Saturday Club together was a natural progression for college and museum really. It has introduced young people to the museum- some of which had never been, and others to the idea of further education in the arts at East Coast College. The Club offers opportunities for development both creatively and socially for all the young people involved” Amy Stock- Tutor at ECC and Youth Engagement Officer at T&T museum.
One parent told us about her daughter, “this course has allowed her to develop her artistic skills, her social skills and the field trips have afforded her a degree of independence. I have seen her confidence grow and had the pleasure of seeing a happy face each Saturday. There is a sense of pride and a willingness to show us what she has achieved”.
The Art & Design Saturday Club ran for 30 weeks this academic year and each term has seen the members try their hand within a variety of creative fields ranging from drawing, animation and weaving to fashion couture, 3D work and photography, to name a few. The first term included a trip to Central Saint Martins College to celebrate the beginning of this year’s Club through a mini self-portrait exhibition and a trip to the TATE Modern. During the second term all Clubs had a ‘masterclass’ workshop with a leading professional from the creative industries and ours was with award-winning designer, Henry Franks of Dubloon Ltd. The group used the museum as a foundation for ‘redesigning’ a product and then each designed and created a lighting system using wood, screws and power tools. Finally the third term saw us all take part in the Great Yarmouth Carnival procession with flags the Club members made based on the town’s image, The BIG Draw where the group ran a drawing workshop to encourage others to ‘make their mark’ and finally the Summer Show exhibition at Somerset House.
“It has been a brilliant experience culminating in an inspiring Summer Show”, said one of the parents.
The Club will continue into its second year in the autumn term and we already have a large list building of interested young creatives. If you would like to find out more information or to express the interest of any young person aged 13–16, please get in touch with Amy Stock on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01493 743949.