On the 21st January, seven students from Appleton Academy travelled to Leeds Arts University to look at the department and take part in a workshop, helping students to understand how art can lead to exciting and diverse careers. They were guided around by Progression Support Worker Jenny Scannell and supervised by Heather Aveyard as they admired student work at undergraduate level.
The visit was supported by Leeds Arts University Student ambassadors; an MA student and a BA Hons student who both showed their work in the respective fields of Creative Practice (Islamic geometric art) and Photography.
A tour of the facilities included a visit to the post-16 course Extended Diploma in Art and Design studio. The students loved exploring work in the studio, especially the textile, fashion and costume pathway, and there was lots of inspiration on offer from the sketchbooks. Afterwards, a visit to the library included a task of finding books about animals, which then served as visual research for the latter part of the day’s BA Hons Comic and Concept Art workshop.
The workshop challenged Appleton students to create a mini-project, which began with a warm up of making marks collaboratively. Students rose to the challenge of being taught like university students and produced creative responses. The group then looked at textures and features of animals, using the books we had borrowed from the earlier exploration of the library and thumb-nailing six examples as inspiration for a character design. The final part of the workshop meant that all students created their own character with features or textures from their earlier research.
The primary outcome of the visit was to raise awareness of post-18 art options and to raise awareness of the value of HE particularly with art. The event was so successful that the university said the students were a credit to the school and constantly engaged, with one young man interviewed afterwards saying that he really enjoyed all of it. They also got ‘hands on’ with lots of fun materials and were so engaged that the school has been invited back!
James Davidson, Higher Education Progression Officer at Appleton Academy
& Jenny Scannell, Progression Support Worker at Leeds Arts University