Creativity may be something we are born with, but we believe it needs to be nurtured throughout life - from those early adventures in paint through to academic study and on to professional practice.
Plymouth College of Art’s Young Arts programme was established in 1988. Young Arts features the colleges’ renowned Saturday Arts Clubs and for over 30 years has worked to bridge the gap in arts provision for young people created by increasingly limited access to creative activity in schools.
Plymouth College of Art is also proud to be a member of the National Art and Design Saturday Club network, an initiative set up by the Sorrell Foundation. The National Art and Design Saturday Club provides young people aged 14-16 the opportunity to study art and design every Saturday morning at their local art college or university for free.
Plymouth College of Art was one of the first of the four founder colleges in the UK to offer the Sorrell Foundation’s National Art and Design Saturday Club when it was first established in 2009.
Young Arts uses art as a catalyst for learning, shaping the artists, makers and creative thinkers of the future, supporting learning and social development.
We often work with specific groups aimed at widening participation in the creative sector and offer a limited number of bursaries covering courses fees for eligible young people.
Working with young people across Plymouth and the surrounding areas in Devon and Cornwall, Young Arts also provides a series of one-off high quality arts experiences in the form of holiday clubs and weekend workshops.
Young Arts at Plymouth College of Art offers a range of courses and outreach activities, with three core objectives.
- Progression: To engage and recruit young people in arts education, preparing them for their entry to further study.
- Participation: Bridging the gap in mainstream arts education for all young people.
- Partnership: Pioneering more collaborative and sustainable arts activities for young people across the city.
Our Young Arts programme allows us to share the expertise of staff at the college, as well as opening up some of our industry standard specialist facilities to young people, giving them access to high quality art experiences in a safe creative space.
“Coming to Saturday Arts Club gave me the opportunity to explore creative outlets beyond experiences I had had before. It was especially good for meeting like-minded people and having specialist artists showing me their professions. This gave me an insight into creative study, and helped me understand that I wanted to go into the creative industry. Without Saturday Arts Club I wouldn’t have had that stepping stone to be encouraged to join the college’s Extended Diploma course, which gave me so much more confidence within my work and the people around me.”
- Daisy Lancaster, Saturday Arts Club participant, 2015/2016
Young Arts offers activities for 9 to 18 year olds which challenge and inspire, giving them the chance to explore a whole range of art forms from painting and drawing, to fashion and design, and film and photography. Our range of programmes offers both fee paying and fully funded activities which look to widen participation in the arts and also look to address the lack of high quality arts provision in schools.
"We are seeing a decline in the number of arts qualifications taken at GCSE level: the number of arts entries to GCSEs has fallen 28% since 2010; the number of hours arts subjects are taught in secondary schools has fallen 17% since 2010; and the number of arts teachers is down by 16%."
- Cultural Learning Alliance, April 2018
In support of widening arts participation, we also aim to deliver intensive “Portfolio Building” programmes, including subjects that are not taught in schools such as crafts, animation and life drawing.
Young Arts at Plymouth College of Art also offers supported activities linked to the Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, which features a high-quality contemporary programme of exhibitions and events, enriching teaching and learning at the college, and welcoming a wider public audience to enjoy and debate contemporary arts.
We already have a diverse mix of needs on our courses after working with several support workers in schools. Our clubs are known as an inclusive creative, safe environment and we have been particularly successful working with students with social, behavioural and anxiety problems.
Find out more about what Young Arts can offer your child or young person by checking out the courses that are currently available, reading the below FAQs or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generally, costs for our Young Arts courses and clubs work out between £4 and £6 per hour. In 2013, we opened a bursary scheme for Young Arts to help people who would not usually be able to afford to participate in these activities. At present the bursary scheme operates for the Saturday Arts Club (9-11 & 11-13) and Young Creators Clubs (14-16).
- Our Young Creators Club costs £67.50 for a block of five weeks (£4.50 per hour).
- Saturday Arts Club is £65 for a block of five weeks (£4.33 per hour)
- Holiday or Half Term workshops are £13.50 for half day (£5.40 per hour), and £27 for a full day (£4.90 per hour).
The National Art & Design Saturday Club is fully supported by Plymouth College of Art and all places are free. Places are allocated by by application only.
You can find out more details on the cost of your desired course on each course listing, and you can find the full list of current courses here.
We take elements of the Young Arts curriculum from our Further Education (pre-degree) and Higher Education (Undergraduate) courses and programmes.
We provide Young Arts students the opportunity to access the same facilities and resources that are usually provided for Further and Higher Education - from green screens to printing presses, the latest animation and graphic design software and photographic equipment.
Young Arts gives young people a taste of creative study within a professional Higher Education environment, giving access to facilities and resources that would not usually be available at school.
Progression onto pre-degree (post-16) and then degree level study is available at Plymouth College of Art. Throughout the year we hold Open Days where students and their families/guardians can visit our campuses, chat to current students and staff, and find out about all the options available to them for creative study here at Plymouth College of Art.
Once Young Arts students are aged 13, they are also able to receive a taught session (as part of their course) with a tutor from the course that they may be interested in studying. You can see the range of options available for post-16 creative study by looking at our pre-degree course page.
Young Arts students can also request informal portfolio reviews with our staff, and we also offer Master the Art sessions and Portfolio Building courses for students who are working towards growing their creative portfolio in order to apply for courses after they leave secondary education.
Our talented teachers are practicing artists and creatives, some of whom teach on our pre-degree and Undergraduate courses. All of them are experienced teachers, and have professional experience in their field.
Helen Billinghurst is a practicing artist and teaches on our fine art and illustration Young Arts courses.
Kate Marshall is a practicing artist and teaches on our printmaking and fine art Young Arts courses.
Steven Green is a Technical Demonstrator for our Undergraduate programmes that include Photography, and teaches on our Young Arts photography courses.
Jess Dyer teaches on our pre-degree Fashion and Textiles course, and teaches on both Art & Design and Fashion for Young Arts.
Jamie House teaches Photography, Film and Animation for Young Arts.
Kate Lyons Miller is an alumni of the college and a ceramicist, who teaches on our ceramics course for Young Arts.
Graham Guy Robinson is a practicing artist who contributes to our Young Arts programme as a guest artist once a year.
For Young Arts, we run a 10 week Autumn term (split in two lots of 5 weeks), a 10 week spring term, and a 5 week summer term.
Half term workshops take place during every half term holiday throughout the year (October, February and May), and we also schedule special Easter and Summer courses. Check our Young Arts course page for more information.
Plymouth College of Art is an Arts Award Centre and offers Arts Award options on many of the Young Arts courses.
Find out more about Arts Award here.
Arrive at Palace Court, go to the Social Space to meet your tutor, or direct to your studio if you are mid project.
Your tutor will introduce your whole group to what you are going to do during the session or give you a creative brief, so try not to miss the start of the session. On a project that spans a few Saturdays, this may be an introduction to the whole project so please tell your tutor if you won't be there so they can make other arrangements for you.
Get stuck in to your arts activity! This can be anything from painting, drawing or printmaking, to ceramics, photography, jewellery or animation to name just a few. You will often work with one medium for a few weeks so that you can build skills, then work on a project leading to a finished piece of work for exhibition, or to take home. All equipment, materials and guidance is provided for you.
At around 11:30am you have a 15 minute break in the social space, this is a chance to relax, chat and have a snack away from your artwork. Please bring a drink and a snack with you as vending machines are limited. You also have access to the courtyard if you prefer some time outdoors but must stay onsite for your break. Supervision is provided by a Undergraduate Student Ambassador who will also take you back to your session when the break has ended.
After break you continue creating! It is great to go back to something you are working on and see it with fresh eyes, or when the sessions activity is split it gives your tutor time to set up the room for the next half, for example half a session to create your print plate, and half a session to use the press to print it.
At around 12:45pm you will begin to finish up, separating the artwork that is going home and what needs to dry, putting materials away and clearing any mess. Sometimes you will use the last five minutes to critique the work you have all created. It is great to see how the rest of the group have responded to the same creative brief and a chance for you to reflect on your new skills.
You will be brought to the courtyard area (or Social Space in bad weather) to meet your parents or guardian. If you are making your own way home this option can be chosen when booking or parents/guardians can sign a nominated pick up form and give to your tutor.
Note: Doors are open 9.50am-10.10am and 12.50pm-1.10pm
*Timings given are an example and may vary from session to session.