Young Arts

Started nationally in 1973, Young Arts provides exciting opportunities for children and young people to expand their horizons through their involvement in creative arts activities.  The Arts Society aims to inspire young people with a lasting enthusiasm for the arts and an awareness of our arts heritage and its conservation. The vision is one of equality of opportunity for all to learn through participation in the arts. 

Watch this space for listings of forthcoming initiatives with The Arts Society at Quay Arts. 

Previous History of Young Arts initiatives:

In the summer of 2014 we held a funded workshop day with Island Young Carers, our second project to help give some creative/fun time to this group of young people with responsibilities at home. It was based on magic. Here is an account of the day.


A fabulous, fun filled day took place at Winchester House during half term. A group of 16 Young Carers, ages ranging from 6 to 12, enjoyed a day of art activities on the theme of Magic & Mystery. In the morning Huxley, an Island based magician, had them all enthralled with his demonstrations of magic tricks and he followed this by teaching them two tricks to take home and practise with family and friends. By the end of the morning they had all memorised the golden rule of magic 'never to give tricks away always to swap one trick for another'. Over lunch the youngsters could be observed practising their card and sponge trick with each other. A quick break for a packed lunch and a run around to let off some energy and it was straight back to the 'mystery' challenge. This was an enormous pile of junk modelling materials with the challenge to create their own work of art. In addition to the vast collection of materials that never went to recycling, there was glitter, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, foil, tissue and lots and lots of intriguing 'bits'. The children rose to the challenge with enthusiasm and there was a wide range of mystery models - flowers, sci fi characters, dolls with skirts, strange vehicles, etc. Once the models were finished and drying on the window sill, it was onto another activity - another 'take' on the mystery theme with the quieter activity of making a code wheel and using it to solve various code riddles. Clearly this was something else to take home and share with family and friends.

The YMCA Young Carers is dedicated to supporting young people who have a caring responsibility within the family. They provide plenty of information, guidance and support for the children and families but also offer a programme of activities that provide an opportunity for fun and relaxation. An individual donor provided the funds for a group of teenagers to visit a mainland art gallery and this was the first activity day for the younger age group. To judge from the response, the day was indeed a success, the youngsters all fed back that they felt much happier and had enjoyed everything.

Vectis NDFAS (The Arts Soceity Isle of Wight at Quay Arts) ran a number of art projects for young people covering all age groups - from providing art materials for the play therapist working with the Women's Refuge to sponsoring an environmental art project at Yarmouth Primary School to working with post 16 art students at the IOW College to enrich their skills with exposure to some non curriculum art work in landscape sculpture and print making.

For 2012/2013 Vectis YA chose to work with the Isle of Wight College on their Enrichment programme-providing workshops and mentoring Vectis DFAS Young Arts


at Whippingham Church. As part of a series of summer exhibitions the society has been invited to display the work of students from the Isle of Wight College. The exhibition is by A Level Art student and has been undertaken as an enrichment project funded by Vectis NADFAS focusing on reviving traditional arts skills. On the students request the two areas chosen for development were printmaking and sculpture. Colin Riches and Tabitha Feddon were chosen as artists who would mentor the students giving initial workshops and then follow up tutorials when students had begun a body of work. The exhibition runs from Tuesday 25th June until Thursday 4th July and is open from Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm. There is ample parking, a coffee shop and tours of this historic church can be provided on request. Everyone welcome

The background story to the exhibition

The Isle of Wight College project: 6 form has undertaken an enrichment project with Vectis DFAS focusing on reviving traditional arts skills for students aged 16-19 years. It was decided that the focus group should be as broad as possible so to include not only arts students but also graphics and photography students. It was decided that the two main areas for development would be printmaking and sculpture. These were mutually decided upon staff and students request. Colin Riches and Tabitha Feddon were chosen as artists who would mentor the students giving an initial workshop and then a follow up tutorial/additional skills workshop later when students had begun body of work. The students were allowed to set their own brief largely; linking it to work they were already undertaking or perhaps doing an entirely different body of work to enhance their portfolio.

The project began with initial group meetings as to what kind of areas the students would like to work with. In preparation for the artists visits the students went to see Colin’s recent exhibition in Cowes at the Pelham house gallery. ‘I really liked Colin’s exhibition in Cowes, I liked how textured and abstract the work was’ Rosie ‘Colin’s exhibition was incredibly useful to view as his 3D installations are similar to my coursework pieces. They are of the same size and made of natural materials so it was great to see how other artists Present their work for spectators in a gallery. I have been influenced by his technique of grouping materials in my coursework chapter ‘collections’ and intend to copy his idea of presenting work on the ground rather than hanging it to change the angle and perspective of the work.’

Jess Sculpture: The sculpture workshop was well attended with many students from both years present. The focus of the session was for the students to consider what their notion of sculpture is and how they perceive the techniques and process involved. Here are some of the comments from tutors and students: ‘It was interesting to have the students looking purely at process and techniques. The exercise where students were asked to feel the plaster setting was great as well as the one where we were asked to close our eyes and just feel objects guessing what they were and how they were made. For some students it was a very different way of working compared to what they were used to.’

Hannah, Tutor ‘Colin’s sculpture workshop was really interesting because he encouraged us to just experiment. We talked about different ways to connect objects (binding, stitching…) I particularly liked the way he used plaster combining it with leaves’ Jo ‘It was interesting how everything that Colin made was from local/found resources. I found that there are lots of different ways of making sculptures besides gluing.’ Rhiann ‘Colin was very approachable and encouraged questions whilst we contributed to the sculpture. My understanding of how to manipulate shape and space was greatly enhanced by our constructing and altering the joint sculpture together.’

Jess ‘It was a fun experience- I enjoyed having the plaster set in my hand despite the fact that mine didn’t quite work- I learnt that you need patience! When Colin was showing us his own sculptures it was quite inspirational to see the techniques he used.’

AbiPrintmaking The printmaking workshop was an excellent introduction to lino and relief printing. Here are some of the comments from tutors and students ‘The session was really good for opening student’s eyes to the possibilities of printmaking. The starter exercise using glossy cardboard showed how simple a print can be and how you can create a really effective outcome with a limited budget and materials. Tabitha gave an excellent talk about the background and history of printmaking also encouraging students to explore alternative print techniques using found objects and varied techniques.’

Hannah, Tutor ‘I liked learning about the different and more accessible ways of printing. I liked Tabitha’s work and how it seemed to reflect her personality. Rhiann ‘I learnt about lino printing and its history, I also found it interesting listening to someone tell us the type of things they do in this field as a job. Alicia ‘It was different to what I had expected. I enjoyed it.’ Emily ‘Tabitha showed us some amazing prints that she had done, both intricate and bold. We did some fun exercises to print very quickly. First we used card to scratch shapes, we then printed these to get an idea. We then did this with a small bit of lino. Now I have continued with this technique and done quite a few prints exploring the balance of light and dark and multiple colours.’

Jo Continuation and development: After the initial workshops tutors Hannah and Abi felt that the students still needed extra encouragement and skills in order to progress. Some students found it quite difficult to play and explore with materials without a set or intended outcome and so some complimentary skills sessions were added to keep their momentum going. Trip to the beach- plaster casting in the sand: Students had liked working with plaster when Colin visited and he had given the idea of using sand to cast plaster as an example. Students were all keen to try this out and so we undertook a trip to Appley beach taking some interior design students from the main college as well who were also interested in the technique.

The visit was a huge success with students responding well to being out of the classroom despite the cold conditions. The technique itself using sea water to mix the plaster resulted in a very quick setting and thus sculptural forms being created quickly. ‘The trip to the beach was different and interesting way to make small sculptures using natural resources.’

Rhiann ‘It was fun and the outcomes were interesting.’ Alicia ‘ This directly linked to my coursework theme of ‘shoreline art’ so using my sand cast in my work was invaluable and gained marks for experimentation in my mixed media.’ Jess ‘This was good as it was a new technique to try, I would like to try these again using different objects to cast.’

Abi Overall Comments: ‘The best thing about the NADFAS project is learning different skills and building a portfolio of work from it.’ Alicia ‘I think it is a great way to find and meet local artists and a good way of finding new methods to use doing our art studies.’

Rhiann ‘I love attending NADFAS as it is a great opportunity for me to meet other artists, gain knowledge and techniques and each person I have talked to has been inspirational.’ Jo ‘I have featured Colin as an artist in my work from investigating his work in NADFAS and the workshop has greatly contributed to my college work and enhanced my skills as a sculptor.’ Jess ‘I think NADFAS is a worthwhile project. For my coursework I am going to work with recycled materials to make a structure and am hoping to use the NADFAS time to help me do this’

Abi ‘I think it’s a good opportunity to try out things that I wouldn’t normally get to do’

Emily Where we are now and what is next? The progress has slowed a little over the build up to Christmas as the students have had deadlines and mock exams however they are all keen to start creating more work in the New Year which can enhance their coursework as well as building new skills. Many students have started work which can be developed still further complimenting their areas of study. Some students are further ahead than others in terms of building a body of work however all of them have made a promising start. Colin and Tabitha’s second workshop will be in February when students have settled back into work and will have a larger body of work to discuss. Students are still keen to put on some form of exhibition towards the end of the year and we have been discussing taking the students to Yarmouth primary school in order for them to teach their skills to younger children and in turn give them a valuable work experience. A select few students would be asked to do this.

Our Young Arts section also continue to work with a Yarmouth primary school and also support Island carers with donated art materials and the Island refuge was given a donation for art materials last November.Background: The first in 2008 was the funding of life story books for children in foster care to record their lives.Also we provided the island social outreach worker with a kit of puppets, art materials and books to use when visiting small children in challenging home situations.

In 2009,our members raised funds to send a group of young people who were primary carers for adults within the family to spend a day at Quay Arts making pots and spending social time alongside other young carers, giving the opportunity to chat and enjoy a day without responsibility. This was so successful that Quay Arts found funding to continue providing this respite.

The St George’s project 2010 2010

heralded our most ambitious project to date, thanks to the generosity of our membership, who donated £583 by attending special events and buying raffle tickets.We were successful in applying to NADFAS for £500 match funding from the Patricia Fay bequest.. Quay Arts provided £250 from their education budget and St George’s provided materials. A group of students from St Georges secondary school for students with profound physical and psychological conditions visited an exhibition at Quay Arts entitled “The Art of Travel” by Stewart Orr. They talked to the artist Chris Jenkins and responded to the experience by producing their own work in school. A group then staged a six week exhibition of this work at the Learning curve gallery with the help of Chris, an island artist. The experience aimed to give confidence to these young people and to be a rewarding experience for all concerned. We held a private preview to give a sense of occasion to the terrific achievement of these young people. All the island great and good came and we were delighted when our National chairman Gri Harrison, travelling to the island to attend the preview. The students presented Gri with a framed copy of their work.

In 2011, we decided to support a much more low key project-that of providing art materials for children escaping domestic violence and staying at the island refuge. The nature of this sensitive project meant everyone involved remained anonymous except an island GP who agreed to liase between us and the refuge. Women can arrive on the spur of the moment, quite often with just their children who are usually in a state of shock and emotional turmoil. They might leave home with no possessions. The provision of paper and art materials would give the opportunity for children to have access to express themselves in whatever way they wanted, without the need to have to talk to anyone. Funding for the refuge is at risk, but currently there is an art therapist employed by the charity. She continues to work with families once they have left the refuge. She currently has about 100 cases island wide on her books. Vectis DFAS has agreed to supply standard everyday art materials plus sand and clay.