We have been successful in securing funding from the Youth Engagement Strategy board in Wolverhampton to deliver a week of arts, crafts and BSL activities for all young people aged 8-16 (25 with an EHCP) living in Wolverhampton. The dates are: Monday 30th October to Friday 3rd November 10am - 2.30pm each day. See advert for details and you can book places for young people using the link below.
A Wave of Creativity!
We were delighted to receive HAF (Holidays Activities and Food) funding from City of Wolverhampton Council and Department for Education, to deliver 2 weeks of activities over the Easter Holidays. There were many other providers in and around the city too.
We worked with 8-16 year olds (18 with an EHCP) on a wide variety of creative projects and included some BSL (British Sign Language) teaching too and delivered our sessions from All Saints Action Network.
Feedback from the sessions was very positive. We've included young people's feedback and results of online surveys below.
Here is a snapshot of what they got up to:
Optical Illusion Drawings
Our volunteer Wayne led some 'Howard Lee' style optical illusion drawings on grid paper which the young people really loved. We connected a phone camera to a projector so that they could follow Wayne's drawing on screen.
Nature Art with Gary
Using leaves found outside, the young people made cards with acrylic paints
JMW Turner landscapes
Turner was the inspiration for this watercolour landscapes session. We think they look brilliant and atmospheric.
Hokusai meets Van Gogh!
This was our most ambitious ever large sectioned artwork. Each person had a square on which to create a section of a specially made reference image. The image is Hokusai's famous 'Great Wave of Kanagawa' print mixed with the background from Van Gogh's 'Starry Night'. The first painting influenced the second so it all made sense. We think the end result is spectacular.
Some amazing sculptures shown here. It's always nice to see new versions of our logo!
Elizabeth Catlett style 'negative' drawings
We looked at the work of African American artist Elizabeth Catlett and the young people created art in a new way: drawing white on black (instead of traditional black on white). Here are just a few examples:
Our volunteer Sarah led an Easter Card making session. The YP made a variety of brilliant designs, some shown here:
British Sign Language (BSL)
Our very own Deaf role model Gary taught the young people some conversational sign language so that if they ever meet a Deaf person they will know how to communicate and not run away!!
Tin Can Planters
We encouraged some healthy eating by decorating tin cans and filling them with soil and seeds. The YP took these away to look after and see the herbs growing at home!
The fabulous Lucy visited the from Custom Junkies and got the YP to create personalised caps and T-shirts. Amazing!
Cardboard Hogwarts Castle and Express
Everyone loves cardboard! On the final day of our project we took a load of cardboard and paints and some asked them to create the castle and locomotive from the Harry Potter stories. So much fun!
Some other artworks created by the YP, including some colour theory led by our volunteer Donna, graffiti lettering, jar designs and grid and dot drawings.
Results of Online Survey
“I think it was very cool to learn a new language that will help me communicate with others in the future and I hope I will learn more.”
Incredible Half Term Creativity
We were very pleased to be awarded funding for a week of creative activity in Wolverhampton, over February Half Term Holidays. The scheme is part of the wider #YES (Youth Engagement Strategy funded by City of Wolverhampton Council) offer across many providers in and around the city.
We worked with 8-16 year olds (18 with an EHCP) on a wide variety of creative projects and included some BSL (British Sign Language) teaching to boot.
We always respond to feedback we receive from young people and in October they told us they'd like to do some Surrealism. So we showed a presentation of what the art movement was all about, who the main artists were and what the lasting influence on our modern day art forms is. They created some fabulous Surreal works (see pics below)
British Sign Language
Gary, a deaf director of RAW delivered some British Sign Language including fingerspelling your name, basic 'meet and greet' signs and they played a few games of 'BSL Bingo' to make sure they'd learnt everything properly!
Charlie Chaplin montage
Because of the connection between Charlie Chaplin and Wolverhampton and that he was another influential multi talented artist, we delivered a short presentation about him and his work and the young people created this wonderful sectioned piece. They each took a square of the bigger picture and did it in their own way (example of magazine collage shown). When pieced together like a jigsaw, the picture comes into wonderful focus
Indigenous style dot drawings
Some beautiful and affective drawings done in an Aboriginal / African style
The young people made some amazing clay creations, including a delightful daffodil, a wonderful wave and mini replica of the Support Life wolf painted by RAW's director Alex Vann as part of the 'Wolves in Wolves' public art project in 2017.
Pop Art greetings cards and canvas tote bags
It's a wrap!!
Final Day: We've had a blast with the team, staff, volunteers and our hosts All Saints Action Network Ltd on our Feb Half term scheme supported by City of Wolverhampton Council’s #YES Youth Engagement Strategy.
Donna, one of our volunteers showed the young people her beautiful portrait painting which will soon be displayed in an exhibition at Newhampton Arts Centre
One of the young people brought in some cardboard sculpture with moving parts that he’d made at home.
Here's what the young people told us in their daily feedback forms:
I enjoyed today as it was a group project. Some of us challenged ourselves to get through it and we did!
RESULTS OF ONLINE SURVEYS COMPLETED BY THE YOUNG PEOPLE
When asked if they enjoyed taking part 100% said 'YES'
When asked if they learnt something new 100% said 'YES'
When asked if they felt more creative / inspired 100% said 'YES'
When asked if they'd like to attend RAW sessions again 100% said 'YES'
Comments from the online surveys:
They made me feel creative and I had fun and I normally don’t like drawing very much and I don’t normally get creative at school or home
From Pumpkins to Pop Art!
We were pleased to receive funding from City of Wolverhampton Council and Youth Engagement Strategy (#YES) to provide creative and BSL activities for young people living in Wolverhampton during the October half term holidays.
Our team delivered a wide variety of activities, something different every morning and afternoon on each day.
The artworks they created were outstanding and the young people told us that they really enjoyed the BSL (British Sign Language) activities – which included some games of BSL bingo which got VERY competitive!!
We were delighted to be visited by a local councillor and have our project featured in the Express and Star and on the council’s Facebook page.
See below for the results of monitoring feedback including some lovely comments from the young people.
Our project was featured on the council's Facebook page 'Wolverhampton Today'
Young peoples' feedback (online surveys)
Some of these are new things I have never done; my goal is to have lots of cool art on a corner of my room
Parent / carer feedback.
Thank you for giving him this opportunity to learn. He would be happy to join again.
Results of monitoring feedback
Amazing Art by young people - Wolverhampton Easter HAF 2022
We [Real Arts Workshops] were delighted to be awarded a grant from City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver 2 weeks of art, craft and BSL (British Sign Language) experiences for young people in Wolverhampton over Easter school holidays 2022. The HAF (Holidays Activities and Food) Programme was rolled out by the government in 2021 and provides free holiday provision including healthy food and enriching activities for low-income households.
We worked with some children who have additional needs and were able to adapt our activities to make them accessible. Having Deaf staff and staff with mobility issues shows young people that adversity can be overcome, and a sense of achievement is for everyone!
But don’t just take our word for it! Here are some photographs of their creations and examples what the young people told us in daily ‘Thought of the Day’ slips and weekly online surveys:
“The staff are very kind, they are great at making things enjoyable”
Looking at the the feedback received from the young people our work falls into these categories:
DOING SOMETHING NEW
Trying out something new. Learning new skills. Experimenting with new ideas. Doing things for the first time. Making new friends.
Being challenged by the materials and projects and enjoying that challenge. Doing things that they don’t get to do elsewhere.
BEING ENGAGED IN REWARDING ACTIVITY
Getting out of the house. Working in a group. Sharing experiences. Doing art as an activity that combats boredom and being sedentary.
FEELINGS of WELLBEING
Having fun. Feeling safe. Feeling excited. Feeling happy. Feeling included. Feeling supported. Feeling calm.
Making new friends; working in a group; working with others to make art; collaboration.
2020 is clearly a year that will go down in history. The world has been rocked by a global pandemic and the toll on personal lives is huge and the effects will be felt for years to come.
We have been very busy doing what we can to continue to reach our audiences as we strongly believe that there is no better time for people to engage in arts activities - not least because of the numerous positive mental well being benefits.
Here are a few of the things that have kept us busy during this time - please do get in touch if you'd like any more information about any of this activity.
Free online resources during Covid-19
You may already have seen that we have created a new page on this site dedicated to free resources, downloads and 'how to' guides during Covid-19. Click on 'Free Resources During Covid-19'.
Please do have a look and scroll to see if there is something that interests you and feel free to share with your contacts.
This has meant we have been able to produce worksheets, videos and activities which we might not have done otherwise.
Art activity packs
We were delighted to be asked by our regular customer, Mossley Big Local to provide 100 art activity packs to residents of all ages. These are funded by Lottery Community Fund so there is no cost to families.
The bags include a biodegrade carrier, basic art materials and we have created bespoke creative activities worksheets for which we think most households will already have resources for. We also delivered a number of packs to Mattesly Court Housing 21 residential home for older people.
Feedback has been great and there are a few photos below.
Virtual Art Workshops
We are very lucky to live in age where technology can bring people together. During Covid-19 we have used video conferencing apps to be able to deliver virtual art sessions to a number of customers. We don't think you can beat face to face contact however this tech has enabled us to deliver demonstrations and facilitate sessions with a number of different groups - some which rely on art activity to keep the mind and bodies active. This has also meant we have developed planning strategies which we will continue after lockdown.
Above, wonderful self portraits at Bid Services, Birmingham
Above, just a few photos from recent weekly community art club sessions for Mossley Big Local
Above, some of the artwork created by young people attending the online #BigLinkUp sessions for the Hub at Ashmore Park, Wolverhampton
Alex on WCR Radio every Monday
Alex has been doing regular weekly interviews with Chris Allen on Wolverhampton's WCR radio on Monday mornings, around 10-11am - talking about the importance of staying active creatively during Covid-19 and setting a weekly creative challenge. Click the logo below to visit their website which has listen live and listen again facilities.
Our annual review video is now on YouTube! Please spend a few minutes out of your day to see all the ways in which RAW has grown in 2019. We have delivered AT LEAST 118 separate workshop sessions, reached 439 people directly with our work and collaborated with at least 19 different agencies
Here are a few standout moments, though these get added to daily!
Here are a few more images from what has been a 'full on' year, delivering high quality bespoke art sessions to all sorts of community groups:
A typical summer with RAW: creating art from nature; sign song performance; an art gallery and University visit; painting picnic benches and meeting the Mayor of Wolverhampton!
We had an amazing (and busy) time over Summer with various activities aimed at enriching the arts experience of young people in the Midlands.
Working with HeadStart Wolverhampton, we delivered the Summer Arts Programme at Low Hill Hub. We are hoping to enter some of the young people into the Arts Award 'Explore' qualification and part of that is visiting and exploring an Arts Organisation and the lovely staff at Wolverhampton Art Gallery facilitated a fascinating behind the scenes visit. Whilst we were there we bumped in the Mayor of Wolverhampton (as you do!) Claire Darke who invited them to visit her parlour a different day. Which we did, see more about that below.
We also worked with our colleagues at BID Services Birmingham again, on a brilliant 'Messy Nature Art' workshop which started with the young people gathering natural materials from a local park and then creating paintings and 3D items. All the young people are Deaf or Hard of hearing and as RAW members Alex and Gary both sign, this is not an issue!
We think their artwork looks great:
Messy Nature Art
We ran the Messy Nature Art session again with the young people at Low Hill Hub and again we were impressed with the results
We also got them to paint the picnic benches outside which were looking a bit worse for wear!
Knife Crime Prevention
An important issue to us is the prevention of knife crime. We have developed a highly creative and interactive workshop around that which gets young people asking themselves questions about their own paths: where they see themselves years into the future, what qualifications they will need to get where they want to be, who their role models are so that they can make positive decisions about their own futures. We used the huge interactive graffiti screen at Low Hill Hub, created a pop up art gallery with anti knife pledges and integrated sign language into it too. Here are a few pics:
Day Trips to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, The Mayor and University of Wolverhampton
We wanted to take the young people out of Low Hill Hub on a cultural visit to the Art Gallery - as this would broaden their horizons and also go towards Arts Award evidence if they decided they'd like to do that qualification which is recognised on the government's framework. We had a fascinating behind the scenes tour from the senior curator, Carol. We learnt that there are about 18,000 items in the gallery collections, some of which have to be stored in stable humidity because they are so old, delicate and fragile.
The young people then got a tour of the galleries, made drawings of what they saw and asked LOADS of questions!
While we were at the gallery we bumped into Mayor of Wolverhampton, Claire Darke, who was happy to come and talk to the young people. she invited them to her parlour and as she and RAW founder Alex Vann are both University of Wolverhampton alumni we combined a visit with the university where the young people saw Alex's design 'Support Life' which was part of the Wolves in Wolves project. They made drawings of the sculpture and asked Alex questions about it. Again this can go towards their Arts Award qualification.
Here are a few pictures from the day:
A Song for Low Hill
We were pleased to be invited to the Bushbury EMB annual festival. We had a stall doing arts activities for young people who drop in and we also performed a brand new song 'A Song For Low Hill' for which our regular group had learnt sign language for.
Here is a YouTube clip of the performance:
...and a few photos from the day and of the artwork the young people created for the lyrics so everyone in the audience could join in singing.
Working with BID Services Youth Club
May 6-12th was Deaf Awareness Week in the UK. RAW delivered several projects including one with BID Services Youth Club, Birmingham based around Deaf identity. It followed on from an earlier project we ran with adults in Wolverhampton where we created a giant (5ft high) cardboard sculpture of signing hands, decorated with posters, drawings and words made by Deaf and hearing people (see photos at the bottom of this blog).
Young people with the final giant signing hands, now in the reception of BID SERVICES.
Some of the brilliant creative work being made.
Deaf Awareness at Mossley Community Arts Club
Our very own #DAWRoleModels2019 Gary O'Dowd led a Deaf Awareness session as part of our regular Community Arts Club on Tuesday evenings, 4.30-6.30pm at Mattesley Court, Walsall.
Giant signing hands for DeafFest 2019
A slideshow of closeups of the artwork created by mixed hearing and Deaf people at our joint Art Day with Zebra Access at Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton.
The sculpture will be on show at Deaffest at Lighthouse Media Centre 17-19 May 2019. RAW will have at stall 10am-4pm on Saturday 18th May. Come and meet us!
We are excited to be working in association with Deaf organisation ZEBRA ACCESS on a unique art project at Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton WV1 4AN.
The day starts at 10.30am and finishes at 3.30pm with an hour for lunch (there is a cafe on site or you can bring your own). We will be making a 3D sculpture using recycled materials - exploring Deaf identity, culture and experiences. There are craft activities for children too. Hearing friends and family are welcome.
This is a free event but please email email@example.com or text him on 07472 958534 to let him know if you are coming.
Real Arts Workshops is an independent arts company based in the Black Country, providing bespoke workshops for various organisations and groups.