When pupil’s at St George’s Primary School joined Ocean Studios artists in residence for an 8 week art club, it wasn’t just their art work they were talking about, it was their career aspirations too! Key Stage 2 student Lola said that taking part in the art club makes you “think about what you want to do in the future a bit more thoroughly.”

As part of our Arts Council Bridge work, we recently piloted an after-school art club at Ocean Studios for children from a local primary school. The 8-week club was part of St George’s Primary School’s after school provision and was designed to provide children with the opportunity to work with real artists in a cultural space close to their school, to raise their aspirations around creative futures, and build community links. Milly Moloney, Art Lead at St George’s Primary said, “meeting the people at Real Ideas gives us an opportunity to get to know more people in the community and build those links between our school and things that are going on locally.”

Kieran Walsh and Mark Fielding, resident artists at Ocean Studios, each delivered 4 weeks of activity and, as you can see from the video, the pilot was a real success. “The raising aspirations bit has been amazaing… seeing real artists and understanding that this is a career option for them… and doing their artwork here has been really important” says teacher Milly. Some of the children were inspired by what they had seen; Iyla says “Everyone here is an artist. You see a lot of different art works and you’re really shocked because you’ve probably never seen something like that before.”

As well as raising aspirations, taking part in this creative club evidently boosted the children’s wellbeing and confidence; Lilly said she loved that she could “stay social with friends” and bring her “talent onto a piece of paper.” Arts and Culture are vital for children’s development and working with real life artists can bring new insights for children beginning to think about their futures; “He said it doesn’t have to be perfect, just follow what your heart thinks” (Violet, Key Stage 2 Pupil, St George’s Primary).

The next after school art club is already being planned for the spring and is ready to become an ongoing part of the programme we offer with a number of other Ocean members keen to get involved.

Watch the video here!

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