Nine Somerset schools who have Artsmark status exhibited art work at Hestercombe from 28th May to 10th June 2016.  The private view on Thursday 9th June was very well attended and the artworks exhibited wowed audiences.  The pieces demonstrated a fantastic range of creativity and skill being generated by young people involved in their schools’ arts projects throughout Somerset. 

Spaeda Arts Education wanted to show what a difference Artsmark makes to young people and staff in schools and showcase work that was in the true spirit of Artsmark. Thanks to funding from the Taunton Decorative & Fine Arts Society (DFAS) and SW NADFAS Young Arts, current Artsmark schools were invited to take part in an exhibition showcasing their pupil's work at Hestercombe, Cheddon Fitzpaine.

At a Private View & celebration for pupils and staff on 9th June, three schools wona class trip to Hestercombe – Blackbrook Primary, the Link Education Centre and Selworthy School.  Included in the prize is a free tour of the House and/or Gardens by the Gallery Curator Tim Martin. The prizes have been donated by Hestercombe and the Taunton Decorative Fine Arts Society.

Tony Bloxham, Chair of the Taunton Teaching Alliance (pictured above) who had funded a creative development opportunity for Primary School Art Coordinators that had taken place earlier on in the day, was at the private view, and said:

‘’I think creativity and the arts in schools has never been more important and to be able to support art teachers to also be creative themselves through the type of workshops Spaeda are offering is a wonderful thing. I am so impressed by the artwork displayed here at this exhibition – it is inspirational.’

John Smeaton, Chair of the Taunton Decorative and Fine Arts Society, (pictured in the prize draw photo) and sponsors of the exhibition said:

‘What we really want to do is encourage more young people to get involved in the arts.  Charities like ours are really keen to kick start activities that will encourage children and young people to be creative and this exhibition has been a fined example of one of these activities.  We are delighted to have been able to support it.’’

The ten schools taking part were:

  • St Gilda’s Catholic Primary School, Yeovil
  • Walton Primary School, Mendip
  • Fairmead School, South Somerset
  • The Mendip Centre, Mendip
  • The Castle School, Taunton
  • Huish Episcopi Primary School, South Somerset
  • South Petherton Junior School, South Somerset
  • Blackbrook Primary School, Taunton 
  • The Bridge School, Sedgmoor

Artsmark-awarded by Arts Council England, designed by schools, the Artsmark award will help schools to deliver a high quality arts and cultural education and provides an excellent way to demonstrate this.

Spaeda Arts Education is based at Hestercombe. Spaeda works with schools to improve teaching and learning through and in the arts. Through training, advice, resources and research and development projects, we increase children and young people’s access to arts and culture. We aim to raise aspirations and widen opportunities for 0 – 25’s and those who work with them.

Taunton Decorative and Fine Arts Society (TDFAS):TDFAS is a member of the national organisation (NADFAS), an arts based educational charity, with over 300 branches around the UK.  They hold monthly lectures and study days, delivered by experts in their individual fields.  They also take part in conservation projects; record contents of local churches; and organise cultural visits and holidays.  They seek to promote Art to others, particularly young people up to the age of 23.  Each year, member societies such as TDFAS are encouraged to give money to Young Arts programmes to allow young people to engage with the arts.