We're Stronger Together!
We were grateful to City of Wolverhampton Council and Department for Education, for funding our 2 week Summer HAF(Holidays Activities and Food) activity.
8-16 year olds (25 with an EHCP) participated in a wide variety of art activities and we included some BSL (British Sign Language) teaching too.
We also worked with our friends at Stratton Street Community Centre for 2 days of sessions. We made woodland creatures out of pine cones, deisgned ceramic tiles, totes bags and performed our original song ‘We Shine Together’ – in sign language! The children learnt all the signs to the song in one morning, and then performed in front of an audience – amazing. You can watch the video on YouTube (or scroll down to see it).
Feedback from our sessions was very positive. We've included young people's feedback and results of online surveys for the 2 weeks below.
Here is a snapshot of what they did in Week 1….
Giant Newsprint Mosaics
This is an effective and accessible way to make art very quickly. Instead of using paint we use magazines and newspapers to gather a palette of colours. Normally these are A4 size but we decided it would make a great day 1 activity to encourage team building and getting the young people to meet new people. The 2 designs with hands are from original artworks by our Deaf director Gary O'Dowd. The other 2 images are synonymous with Wolverhampton: the Man On The Horse and the Wolf face.
BSL (British Sign Language) and Ceramic tile art
Our Deaf role model and company director taught the young people some basic sign language and then played some games including BSL bingo. The afternoon session was a ceramic tile design session.
Superheroes and Affirmations
Our newest team member, the wonderful and vivacious Jen, led a fantastic session which encouraged the young people to channel their inner superhero! They made boxes in which they could place 'treasure' - reminders of why they are so fantastic on those days when they don't.
Drawing day incl Still Life studies
The young people did a range of drawings, using a variety of media to create superb artworks. In the afternoon they made still life drawings of fresh fruit and vegetables which they then took home.
Bark board art inspired by British Art Show 9
Michael Armitage, one of the British Art Show 9 exhibitors in Wolverhampton last year was the inspiration for this session. Our volunteer Wayne then led some drawings in a circle, with the assistance of one of the young people.
Here's what they did in Week 2
"Who do you think you are - Van Gogh?"
Yes! We used acrylic paints mixed with cornflour to replicate Vincent's impasto style. We love how these are all unique, despite being the same subject.
Clay print making and Negative drawings
This was done in the same way as linocut printing but instead of using lino we used clay because it's a softer material and you don't need dangerous sharp tools.
WE HAD A CARNIVAL!!
The lovely Jen led another session for us - this time she taught the young people (and us staff!) about the history of carnival and the various cultures that celebrate carnivals around the world. Then they crated fabulous masks, fans and headpieces. See our Facebook page for a video of their conga dance!
Qigong and dot drawings
Sue, a registered Qigong tutor, led a fabulous session of this gentle Chinese martial art movement technique. Then The children made wonderful dot paintings inspired by African / Aboriginal indigenous art.
RAW started originally as a final year project by Alex Vann. He wrote a book called 'Joseph The useful Cardboard Box' all about the uses of a discarded cardboard box. So...we had a cardboard ox day, why? Because children absolutely LOVE cardboard!!
Healthy Eating Activities
Part of the funding for HAF is about educating young people on healthy eating choices. We integrated this into our art activities, as well as the fresh fruit and veg still life drawings we did these....
RAW at Stratton Street Community Centre HAF 2023
We love working with our colleagues at Stratton Street Community Centre. We delivered 2 days of arts and BSL experiences. See their creations below and watch the video of our own song: 'We Shine Together' which includes some lyrics written by Gail, the manager of the Community Centre.
Views of the Young People
'THOUGHT OF THE DAY' slips
Survey Results - Week 1
Survey Results - Week 2
Quotes from the Young People
It was very amazing
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
We've been funded for Summer HAF!
We are delighted to have been funded to provided high quality arts crafts and BSL experiences for young people with HAF codes in Wolverhampton aged between 8-16 (up to 18 with an EHCP).
We are offering a varied programme of activities including: painting, drawing, clay, sign language learning and sign song, crafts, recycled art, cardboard sculpture, healthy eating education through art and much more.
We have many years' experience and are able to inspire young people to create unique art.
To register, please download and return the consent form below.
** EVENT FULLY BOOKED **
Get in touch for waiting list places
Thank you to all our partners, followers and liker's for sharing our Summer HAF project. We are now fully booked!! However if you are a parent / carer looking for arts activities, please get in touch as we have started a waiting list in case of drop outs or no shows and there is always the Youth Opportunities website which has many, many free of charge opportunities for young people with a HAF number (and also paid for activities). https://www.yowolves.co.uk/events
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.
Free* activities for families registered for HAF in Wolverhampton
We are delighted to announce that we are providing free (*HAF funded) Art, Craft and BSL experiences to young people aged 10-16 in Wolverhampton over Easter Holidays (see the poster above for details).
To qualify for our sessions, families must have already registered with City of Wolverhampton Council for HAF scheme and have an email or letter with a barcode that we can scan at our sessions.
Download a consent form (below); or call/tx/WA 07882 685923.
Thank you, Alex and Gary
(Please spread the word)
We were delighted to get funding support from the City of Wolverhampton to provide online art and craft activities for young people aged 10-16 as part of their February Half Term #WVVirtualSquad offer.
We did a wide variety of accessible activities that saw them creating 3D cardboard sculpture, air dry clay modelling, origami paper crafts, drawings, paintings, T-shirt designs, and pop art landscapes among many other creative things.
There were sessions every day of the holidays and we provided 3 extra sessions in the evenings for 13-16 year olds, who learnt about more advanced art techniques. Art packs were made up and delivered to families in the week before the live sessions. These included all the resources required to do the projects together with a step by step workbook about each art challenge for those who weren’t able to join all the live sessions.
Photo Gallery of work created
Alex Vann from RAW said: “We had a really great time leading this project and hope to do similar sessions in future as we consider the Arts to be beneficial in many ways and especially during times of lockdown”.
What the Young People said:
MONDAY 15th Feb
We were pleased to be commissioned by City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver innovative art sessions over October Half Term to young people aged 10-16 who live in the city as part of the #WVVirtualSquad offer. These had to be run differently from our Summer sessions, when face to face sessions were possible, because of the second national lockdown.
Having already delivered many virtual art session to adults and to Deaf groups using the video conference apps: Zoom and MS Teams, and organising delivery of individual ‘art packs’ it was a case of using that experience to put a programme of Arts activity and learning materials together that not only encouraged fun but also stretched abilities and knowledge. As well as daytime activities aimed at younger children, we delivered evening sessions of more advanced art techniques for teenagers and made use of the ‘RAW CAM’ – a separate ‘spotlighted’ device aimed at an art demonstration piece.
'Zoom' screen shots
As you can see, the quality of work the young people created is amazing. Well done!
Here's what the young people said:
Thank you for all your hard work and effort . I have really enjoyed this and will definitely be back to join you guys again !!!! I had a wonderful half term being part if Real art club x. Thanks again to you all!!!! 🎃🤗🤗🤗
Our Summer Programme for City of Wolverhampton Council
We had a great experience over the 6 weeks summer holidays, delivering our "Summer Art Activities" programme for City of Wolverhampton Council's #WVHolidaySquad and #YES -Youth Engagement Strategy.
We designed and delivered a wide variety of art and craft activities for young people 10-16 and were totally blown away by the quality of work.
A few photos...
Our programme was delivered in two Covid 19 secure venues: 2 weeks at The Workspace, All Saints and 4 weeks at The Way Youth Zone. We observed the government guidelines for performing arts which also covers art groups like ours and are pleased to report no cases of Covid 19. This includes providing separate resource packs so there is no sharing of resources, social distancing and frequent hand washing among other things. Credit has to go to the young people who worked with enthusiasm throughout and were very sensible in observing these measures.
We reached many young people who were referred via Strengthening Families Hubs throughout the city. These young people were from different ethnic backgrounds; White British, Asian, Pakistani, Arab, Eastern European and Black Afro Caribbean.
A few more photos...!
We delivered some British Sign Language training along the way - in a fun and accessible way - WITH PRIZES!!
Your New Normal. My Normal
When we heard about the Common Ground project called “Your New Normal, My Normal”, organised by Changing Our Lives and funded by the Co-Op Foundation, about tackling loneliness in young people we did a couple of workshops with the young people and entered some of their work for the project. A judging panel chose not one but FOUR pieces of work by the young people which is currently in an online exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. We think exhibitions are a great way to celebrate the successes of people and go some way to building confidence in skills knowing that there is an audience for their work. Here is the link to the exhibition; https://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/changingourlives/
Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness
We were delighted to link up with Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness during this project.
Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness is dedicated to the distribution of home made pom poms in and around the Black Country. Each pom-pom represents a lonely or isolated person and by 'Pom-Bombing' they raise awareness about the situation that can face anyone. Our young people spent a day making pom-poms which they donated to the cause!
Yet more pics....!
We think they have all did incredibly well and have had the opportunity to try many different art forms and find their 'niche'. We received some lovely feedback:
We’d like to thank Wolverhampton City Council for funding this project and OnBoard Corrugated for donating cardboard for our group to use.
Special thanks to our volunteers Wayne, Sarah, Rachel, Sandra and Olivia who made this all possible, and our BSL interpreters Mad and Jemma
Here’s just a few of the things we did:
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:
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!
Real Arts Workshops is an independent arts company based in the Black Country, providing bespoke workshops for various organisations and groups.