Plymouth College of Art is celebrating the success of this year’s Saturday Arts Club, which culminated in a national show of over 300 participating young members at the iconic Somerset House earlier this month.
Attended by over 3,500 people, the unique exhibition, held in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House, London, showcased promising new work from young people aged 14-16 in disciplines across drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and more.
Now in its fourth year, The National Art&Design Saturday Club was set up by The Sorrell Foundation to give young people aged 14 - 16 the unique opportunity to study art and design every Saturday morning, during the academic year, at their local college or university for free.
During 100 hours of expert tuition Saturday Arts Club members enjoy the opportunity to work beyond the boundaries of conventional school lessons, have access to specialist resources at local university and college institutions, and take part in a vast range of new activities.
This year the club at Plymouth College of Art worked on a design-for-games project, where 19 members from 13 different schools designed their own characters. In the process, members explored portraits, graphics, games design, photography, ceramics and glass over 30 weeks, whilst preparing for the London exhibition.
‘Parents’ feedback is that the Club experience boosts confidence and imagination, and expands awareness of what art and design can be, beyond what is taught at school’, says Rosie Gibson, Saturday Arts Club Co-ordinator at Plymouth College of Art.
‘Several club members are now applying to study at Plymouth College of Art next year, and three of last year’s students are enrolled on a further education course.’
The college now plan to replicate the success of Saturday Arts Club through a newly launched Young Arts Club programme of activities for 4 - 18 year olds.
Principal, Andrew Brewerton said: ‘The new programme means that at Plymouth College of Art, a four year old student enjoys equal status with a mature student on one of our Masters programmes, by virtue of their creative practice, at whatever stage they have reached in their development.'