Special visit to Saturday art club

A Saturday club which aims to inspire local young people to get creative received a special visit from a leading supporter of the arts recently.

Lady Sorrell OBE is co-Founder and Trustee of the Saturday Club Trust, which aims to inspire creativity and widen interest in the arts.

Along with Clare Haskins, Managing Director of the Saturday Club Trust, she visited staff from the University of Wolverhampton’s Faculty of Arts and Aspire to HE (higher education) programme on 10 May 2018, to hear about their Saturday Art & Design Club and how it is widening participation to the arts for local young people.

Over the academic year, Saturday Club tutors and industry professionals build young people’s skills, nurture their talents and encourage them towards further and higher education, and careers that will be right for them.

Funded by the Aspire to HE programme, staff from the University are delivering a 25-week programme for students from years 9-13, from Wolverhampton, the Black Country and Telford, to access the arts. 

Lady Sorrell, who set up the Saturday Club Trust with her husband, Sir John Sorrell, said: “It was wonderful to see the Faculty of Arts, University of Wolverhampton, and Aspire to HE working together on this programme to give so many local young people the opportunity to explore the many disciplines in art and design. The work created by our Saturday Club members was expressive and of a high standard.

“Speaking to staff and students, I get a real sense of the passion driving this project. I look forward to seeing more Club members’ work and watching their progress – the staff and students they have worked with have inspired them.”

Jackie Dunne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton said: “I would like to thank Lady Sorrell and Clare Haskins for visiting our University and showing a real interest in how we create opportunities for young people to access arts, on a Saturday morning, in their local area.

“We are a University that strives to be inclusive and I would like to thank colleagues from the School of Art, Aspire to HE and our arts students for developing and delivering an outstanding Wolverhampton Saturday Art&Design Club. I hope club members have been inspired to consider a career in the arts and the opportunities available in higher education.”

The goals of the Saturday Art&Design Club are to widen participation in the arts and to broaden students’ knowledge of the many careers available in the creative industries.

Saturday Club members explore a range of subjects, taught by academics, students, artists-in-residence and industry leaders, including fine art, graphic design, illustration, product design, interior design, fashion, textiles, printmaking, photography, and glass and ceramics.

They also take part in a Masterclass and exhibitions, visit museums and art galleries, and are offered expert information about pursuing a career in the creative industries. 

Sam Hope, Associate Dean and Head of Wolverhampton School of Art, added: “I am passionate about the work that we do with our local young people and hope to continue this work with Lady Sorrel and the Saturday Art&Design Club in the future.

“The creative industries sector is the fastest growing sector in the UK, worth £91.8 billion gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy and employs one in 11 workers.

Identified as one of the most resilient sectors to automation, the creative industries sector could provide greater job security in the future. 

“We want to create the opportunity for our local young people to pursue their dreams and gain successes in the creative industries.

“The Wolverhampton Saturday Art&Design Club is the start, for many, of an exciting journey into a career in the arts, providing rich and diverse contributions to the UK creative industries sector.

“At Wolverhampton School of Art (est. 1851) we offer foundation and undergraduate degrees, and masters programmes. Our art school community includes previous Saturday Art&Design Club Members, who are pursuing their love of the arts and will be the next generation of talented artists, designers and makers; joining an enviable list of alumni, dating  back to 1851 and building on 167 years of artistic excellence.”

Betsy Carnduff, an Art&Design Saturday Club member said: “I joined the Club after hearing about it on a sustainable fashion course. I was immediately interested as I really enjoy art and design.

“I really enjoyed designing the shoes. I absolutely love Kicker shoes so to hear I had the chance of designing a pair in a special Masterclass was a once in a lifetime opportunity I had to take. I’m so glad I had this chance. I got to meet new people with similar hobbies and learn something new every week. I got to learn new skills and take part in activities I wouldn’t normally be able to access. It’s also made me more confident to go on to further education when I finish my GCSEs.”

Staff at the Faculty of Arts, University of Wolverhampton, have recorded the following outcomes:

  • The majority of Club members are from the most disadvantaged areas of Wolverhampton, the Black Country and Telford.
  • For many Club members, it was the first time they had visited a university, museum or art gallery.
  • Ongoing partnership working with the Aspire to HE programme, the National Saturday Club, past, present and future students, parents and the academic community.
  • On 8 and 9 June, Club members will exhibit their work as part of a University of Wolverhampton degree.
  • Club members will also exhibit their work as part of the National Saturday Club Summer Show at Somerset House, London, 9-17 June 2018.  

Further information

Date Issued: Tuesday, 15 May 2018

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