40 Artist Educator Evaluation Space
In 2014, AccessArt was funded by Arts Council England to create 40 resources which highlighted, celebrated and shared the work of diverse artist educators. New relationships were built, new audiences inspired, and new members attracted to AccessArt to ensure the sustainability of the organisation...
Comment by Susan Coles
"Reading and viewing the AccessArt 40 Artist Educator Project is a pleasure. To see the resources online and travel along the path of each individual artist educator project is stimulating and exciting." Read More...
The value of the visual arts in life long learning cannot be questioned. Not only is it essential to growth and development in young people in school, but also the transferable skills that it teaches are skills for life. It develops creative thinking, the ability to reflect, risk taking, enjoyment, pleasure, and it also teaches ‘making’ skills. In the 21st century we must teach people to be visually literate. Art will help them to become viewers, consumers and critics of visual information. We must teach young people to navigate images, to evaluate them and to use them to communicate. Through making art they will learn to create and design meaningful visual information themselves, in both expressive, and innovative ways.
Changes to the educational landscape in recent years have not diminished enthusiasm for visual art but provision has been eroded by curriculum changes and accountability measures. Funding for community-based activities has also been affected. This rich and diverse resource from AccessArt, will support all of those people who are working to engage people in the visual arts. One of the aims was to celebrate the unique approach of each artist to teaching and facilitation. The diversity in approaches and in content and methodology make this resource invaluable in an area where individuality is to be both encouraged and celebrated. These activities have allowed participants to create and design meaningful visual outcomes and information themselves in both an expressive, and innovative way. The activities also value the creative thinking process. They will serve as exemplar materials that can be shared and developed by other artist educators. They will encourage others to aspire to inspire.
It has also involved the artist educators in their own formal professional development through designing a project and creating resources, and acts as a conduit for the professional development of others. This is active and creative networking through an online collection, and a place where comment and conversation can occur. It becomes a professional network, where the individuals who use it are part of a community, which, in itself has strong common beliefs. It values and promotes the visual arts as a learning experience, showcases the diversity of the artist educators and their practices, and becomes a stimulus for those who visit the web space and resource for inspiration. As AccessArt gathers more members, this sense of community and belonging grows and influences. Good teachers are a product of good nurture and it is an ongoing priority that we nurture educators. Keywords in these resources are showcasing and celebrating.
Arriving on the well-designed webpage itself, invites the visitor to enjoy and be inspired. The layout is easy to navigate and to follow. Each of the projects is given its own thumbnail; all of these are visually exciting/inviting and take you into the accessible format of reading the descriptor and then following the project, stage by stage, through photographs (sometimes video) and explanatory text. Context and rationale are also explained. The variety of context is important, there are workshops in primary schools, secondary schools, museums, galleries and public spaces. There are also artists sharing their practice from their studio bases.
Hyperlinks and video links flow well in the design of the pages, and the invite to add a link to a Pinterest page is another way of taking the information to a wider audience. Being able to share via social media, at the click of a button, increases audience range and potential membership.
Connecting to the artist educator though their personal photo image and web links and the short (but useful) biographies are very valuable. This places them as real people who visitors to the webpages can connect to.
One of the stated aims was to celebrate the artists’ unique approach to teaching and facilitation, highlight the value of their contributions
and broaden and enhance educational and creative experiences. This aim has been achieved through the accessibility of the high quality resources, and also through taking some of the activities into the school and community setting, and seeing artist educators work with learners in a “live” brief situation. The benefits of this, to each community, is a legacy of good and creative practice in art, craft and design.
If the audience can be estimated at 60000+ at the time of the evaluation, then I would anticipate seeing this grow as it is disseminated across local, regional, national and international networks and social media platforms. The World Wide Web has created a space for teachers where they can share and where autonomous professional development is supported. The 40 Artist Educator Project is a successful and positive model for such practice. Quality assurance is guaranteed through the knowledge and experience of Paula Briggs and Sheila Ceccarelli. This has also led to a diverse range of practitioner and foci in the collective projects. Small scale, large scale, two-dimensional, three dimensional, permanent, transitionary, traditional, contemporary, individual, group, risk taking and problem solving, all of these (and more) are covered in the 41 projects.
Working with other organisations and partners has also been integral to the success of the Artist Educator Project.
The projects are not just about making, they are about knowledge, evaluation, critical understanding and generating ideas and responses. “Through their active participation pupils learn to explore their imagination, generate ideas, acquire skills and apply judgement.” NSEAD National Curriculum Guidance June 2014. Children’s well-being is enhanced by directly engaging with the visual arts.
From my point of view these resources need to be signposted and shared, with informal evaluations as part of the online/social media conversations. Working with other organisations and partners (local and national) has also been integral to the success of the Artist Educator projects. This will support the dissemination of them.
If the 40 Artist Educator projects are added to, then, I would suggest more gender and ethnicity balance, to reflect life in modern Britain. This balance would continue to build on the social, moral, cultural and spiritual elements of these projects. In an education system, which is heavily slanted towards numeracy and literacy, the visual arts allow children to create their own reflective spaces and to express themselves in a way that develops sense of worth and well-being. Teachers are pushed for time to be creative with their own planning for the subject. AccessArt has created a portal to excellence and ideas, which will inspire them to be more creative teachers.
Susan Coles, Immediate Past President of NSEAD
The 40 Artist Educator Project at a Glance
40 Artist Educators Inspired us with their Practice
40 inspirational resources covering many aspects of the visual arts
We now have over 950 Members and 9000 Subscribers using the Resources with their Audiences...
Teachers, artists, facilitators and interested individuals...
We Tested Resources in Four Schools with Six Artists
4 schools in Cambridgeshire helped us test our resources
We completely redesigned the AccessArt website to make it mobile responsive and easier to find the info you need...
... and Created another 30 Resources from Applicants to the Project...
Sometimes we just can't say no! We worked with many additional artist educator applicants to create extra resources!
And Developed our links with a Number of National Organisations
The project helped us nurture our links with many organisations including NSEAD, Engage, Axis, Campaign for Drawing & Anglia Ruskin University, as well as many museums and galleries and smaller arts organisations
Explore our 40 Artist Educators...
How do the 40 artist educators feel about the project?
"As an art educator who places emphasis on theory, it can sometimes be difficult to place oneself amongst a practice-heavy artist educator group. Paula and Sheila were pleased to represent an Art Historian as one of the 40 Artist Educators. I was also pleased to be present at the 2014 Engage Conference when the programme was highlighted as a case study, which may hopefully lead to future work." Anna Linch: Putting You in the Picture
"A rare opportunity to talk about my work with no hindrance. A fantastic way to share best practice and for Artist Educators to be recognised as valuable both creatively and within education. There is an unfortunate layer of snobbery often attached to work done within the realm of "Art Education' that fails to recognize the importance of arts education for individuals of all abilities. For some pupils the arts are a place of comfort where they can shine and be recognised for their talents, for others it is a pleasurable past time that hopefully will nurture an interest that will last a whole lifetime and for others it is an avenue to expression that they cannot find elsewhere in the curriculum. Whatever a pupil's ability encouraging and supporting expression in all forms is an envaluable part of creating on going stable and healthy mental well being and as an Arts Educator I take this aspect of my work extremely seriously"
"It was very useful to be able to evaluate an actual project by presenting it to a potential new audience. It gave me the opportunity to make a permanent record of the printmaking processes and the pupils' achievements. I was very pleased to be able to include a reference and link to the AccessArt resource when applying for a recent school based project. A very valuable addition to the CV." Ann Bridges Painter/Printmaker
"Paula and Sheila are both incredibly enthusiastic and encouraging - always. I really hope AccessArt continues to receive support and funding as they are creating really valuable resources and a pleasure to work with." A 40 Artist Educator
"Back Lane Artspace has found AccessArt to be a truly inspirational resource. Finding a thriving organisation with so many interested and interactive members, who share the same values and the same approach to teaching creativity as our own, has inspired and encouraged us to consider how we can provide and promote more high quality arts experiences to more children. As a result we have become "The Children's Art School", a non-profit organisation. Our aim now is to provide more art education in more locations and to reach as many children as possible regardless of social status or family income. We are also forging partnerships with more schools, providing bespoke visual and multi-arts experiences and supporting creative approaches to teaching throughout the curriculum." The Children's Art School, Holmfirth.
"It has been a pleasure to work with AccessArt. I was very appreciative of the support that Paula and Sheila gave me during the development and editing of the resource and also their care and attention to detail in presenting my resource on the AccessArt website."
Being chosen to be one of the 40 Artist Educators made me think about my work. It felt good to share my projects professionally through AccessArt. The young students that took part in the projects were excited that they were going to show their work to a large online audience. We all felt valued. Being involved with AccessArt has boosted my self confidence because they have recognised the value of my work. I know my students enjoy our art projects but AccessArt know that sharing these projects will mean that many others can enjoy them too. I have noticed that there are more hits on my art blog so I am getting new visitors from the exposure." Sharon Gale, ArtCabin
"I had a lot of email correspondence with Sheila who was extremely encouraging and supportive throughout the process." Ursula Kelly, Artist Educator
"The flexibility of AccessArt to enable me to contribute 'ideas' as opposed to a specific activity was great. The site is such an excellent way of linking artists, educators and ideas together. My resource has been on the site for a few weeks and is already attracting attention. I really look forward to seeing how this continues." Henry Ward
"I think I am most likely to share the collaboration when I'm applying for work or proposing a partnership by including it in an email or application document, or when I'm working with students and want inspire them by showing them some really imaginative ways of engaging people creatively." Hannah Coulson, ReachOutRCA
Find Out How the Resources were Evaluated in Schools
See and Hear How AccessArt is Used to Inspire New Audiences
Two full time, one part time
Just some of the artists and teachers using AccessArt...
"I love the experiential type of art that is on the website….it is so different from any other website that I have seen. I enjoy looking for new ideas for my 21 art classes that I teach…..Keep up the great work!!"
"I primarily use this site when I need a little inspiration for my teaching. I have been an art teacher for 8 years, but I am always interest in developing and expanding my range of approaches and ideas. I often find that I get a little side tracked on the site and these research tangents occasionally inspire a fresh approach to some element of my own art work."
Michelle Weeks, Paulet High School
" I continue to find Accessart resources incredibly valuable and I continue to spread the word to friends and colleagues. It is a great springboard for developing ideas."
Felicty Heath, Adult and Community Learning Surrey
"As a full time Fine Art student, I aim to work within the community on graduation. The AccessArt site is a fantastic resource which helps to develop my imaginative thought process when I am trying to develop workshops."
"Great sharing and ideas and easy to use. I really value the teaching and approach to using the gallery as a focus and the variety of community connections that AccessArt makes. I am out of mainstream schools and in a gallery situation where I teach many after school classes. The approach is not curriculum driven and very inspiring and freeing and makes me look closely at what I teach and how I teach it."
Kate Munro, Artist Educator
"I am planning to develop activities for children for visual arts, for the National Gallery in Kosova, Prishtina. A friend from Edinburgh told me about this website. I am hoping to find ideas about engaging activities for children and making art accessible to young audiences. I have finished MA in Arts and Cultural Management in Edinburgh and temporarily living in Kosovo. Many thanks, Enita Westmoreland"
"I love the new look AccessArt, it's easy to navigate, clear and sharp looking. I am always thrilled with the ideas and projects you post, lots of them infiltrate my teaching to Yrs 5 to 9. Just keep it up. You're tremendous."
Rachel Adshead, Castlewood School
"I get fantastic explanations and inspiration from this site. I'm a primary teacher and this is the 1st year I've taught art to a year 3 class. Great resource. Especially as many of your lessons and ideas needs little specialist equipment."
"Amazing creative ideas by practicing artists is very inspiring for teachers in schools. I think it is also very refreshing to see something which is not aimed at anything but unlocking creativity. I really love the site."
"The different approaches to drawing have helped to increase our exam success at Paulet."
Claire Dean, Bradford College
"I believe AccessArt is an incredible concept. The international concept gives insight to other cultures and other artists around the world. Truly inspirational."
Jacqueline Carstairs, Creative Splash Art Academy
"Its a brilliant site that always fills me with motivation and inspiration to take back to my clients. I always enjoy my visits."
Mirange Hobson, Bradfield Dungworth Primary School
"It's BRILL.... a breath of fresh air for me practicing in rural north of England. I hope you continue the good work for many years to come. Thank you."
"You are a great organisation - much admired and one of the best workshops I took part in. Thanks"
"A simply invaluable resource - I visit your site at least once a week - thank you for all your inspiring ideas."
" I think you guys are brilliant! I love the easy access to free teaching lessons, and the very economical membership to further lesson plans. Keep up the great work!"
AccessArt Visitors using resources
Visitors to AccessArt...
...have increased by over 100% during the project period
Who uses accessart?
Where are our users based?
Sessions by country
January 2014 to January 2015
"AccessArt has had an incredible year and is going from strength to strength, providing a much needed forum for artists and educators to share ideas and collaborate. In the current climate, where art is under such pressure within the education system, initiatives such as this are vital and AccessArt is leading the way." Henry Ward, Trustee
Inspired to work with AccessArt? Please get in touch!
Although the 40 Artist Educator project is now over, the resources created will remain on the AccessArt website as part of the AccessArt resource bank for years to come, benefiting new audiences.
AccessArt is a UK registered charity and receives no revenue funding. Instead we rely on income from memberships to enable us to continue to meet our aim of inspiring and enabling visual arts education. Membership is open to teachers, facilitators, artists and individuals across the UK and overseas. Please consider becoming a member to benefit your practice and support AccessArt. Membership starts at just £3.50 per month.
We are always looking to work with organisations, artists, teachers and facilitators to develop new content and resources. Please get in touch.