Young people’s access to art in schools is being dangerously threatened. Recent reforms and legislation by the coalition government undermine the continued role of art within education. The omission of art from the English Baccalaureate has already caused a 40% decline in young people taking visual arts subjects in school. This erosion of art education means the development of creativity in all young people is at risk. Without nurturing, innate creativity may well die. A world without artists, creative thinkers and innovators is a world without colour.
In spring 2012, as part of the PEER Participate programme, artist Emma Hart facilitated a series of Manifesto Workshops with staff from the Art Department of Bridge Academy secondary school to examine the current status of art education in schools. Many of the questions these workshops raise consider how art offers new ways to think about and experience the wider world, underlining its important position within the core curriculum.
Through discussion and practical exercises, including photography, drawing and projected images, this group of artists and educators worked collaboratively to produce a series of six manifesto statements about the vital contribution that visual arts education makes in developing creativity within young people, in light of the pressures it now faces. Over the course of three sessions the Bridge Academy Art Department worked together with Emma Hart to express the value of their teaching and examine why arts education is so vital and yet under threat.
We have produced a set of six stickers, which declare Art fascinates; Art speaks; Art initiates; Art acts; Art protests; Art is AWAKE! To obtain a set, please send an A4 SAE to us at PEER, 97 &99 Hoxton Street, London N1 6QL and join us in spreading their important messages by sticking them where you see fit.
PEER Participate is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation