Art Workshops – working with artists 2


The main display in the hall – end of day three, originally uploaded by hydra arts.

Hydra Art Workshops are a group of artist who work in schools in the North West of England. I’ve been a fan of their work for sometime and I particulary like this recent project. They worked with 78 Year Six pupils to produce several panels for the main hall. The children who took part were presented with certificates to mark their involvement but I think the lasting impact for them will be the knowledge that their work will remain on view in the school now that they’re moving up to High School.
This kind of continuity in school can easliy be overlooked. A Leavers Assembly or a party are lovely but it’s quite powerful for children to feel that some part of their work will continue to be valued. At my last school Year 6 usually worked on a leaving gift for the school. We were lucky enough to have an artistic learning mentor but we never managed to afford ‘real’ artists. Often it was an art work for the hall, although one year they made a musical washing line for the circle garden. We felt it was important for the school to mark their departure in this way. The works were well liked by later children, some liked to remember brother’s or sister’s involvement. Sometimes when children came back for various reasons they were quite touched to see their work still on display.

Hydra Arts said:

when we were originally booked for the workshops, i absolutely wanted to mark the fact that the year 6 pupils were leaving primary school and wanted them to all be involved in the same process and contribute to a collaborative art project

Do you have experience of working with artists in schools? Did you find it worthwhile? How do later children view the art? Please tell your story in the comments.


About Linda Hartley

Hi, I enjoy helping teachers to make their classrooms into interesting visual learning environments. I write most of this site and I also run the Classroom Displays online course which you can find out more about in the sidebar.


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