AccessArt and 2023

As the days slowly lengthen, we can let ourselves feel a sense of opening outwards once again, and it is with that mindset that we’d like to share AccessArt’s aims and intents for 2023.

Hanging the Laundry out to Dry (1875) painting in high resolution by Berthe Morisot.


Three words help define our continued direction for 2023: appetite, understanding and demand.

We want to help create an appetite, or desire, for the visual arts. A feeling that, in whatever form, “art offers me something that I can value”. The most rewarding emails we receive are often the ones from teachers telling us that staff are “excited to teach art again” and that pupils “are talking about what they have made”.

There is sometimes an assumption that when we teach or facilitate art, it might somehow not be as rigorous as other subjects. It is true to say that art is a unique subject, with its own requirements in terms of teaching and learning, but our approach should be no less rigorous than any other subject. Art offers us very special benefits, and develops very particular skills and experiences. It is vital that as well as building subject knowledge, we also develop subjective knowledge about what it is to be a creative human being.

Finally, by creating appetite and understanding, we create demand. Or perhaps we should write DEMAND – because we need to shout louder about the fact that “art” (making it, talking about it, looking at it) is important. Humans think and act creatively, and if we do not find ways to nurture creativity in those around us (and in ourselves), then we are depriving individuals and society of something which is fundamental and critical to our development.

As AccessArt continues to grow and reach new audiences, our aim is to use our position to help create more opportunity for all. That means more opportunities for:

• Pupils and students to receive high quality arts education
• Educators to understand and enjoy teaching art
• Experts in their field to engage with audiences
• Life-long learners to feel able to explore their creative potential
• Artists to share their work and approaches
• And more opportunities to work together with other partners to help change policy and practice at all levels.

Key areas of focus for AccessArt for 2023 include:

• Continued development of resources and CPD for Primary teachers.
• Development of resources and approaches for Secondary schools.
• Celebration and sharing of the impact AccessArt has on visual arts education, including work made in schools, as a way to help gather evidence and further impact policy and practice.
• Connected thinking between all educational settings including life-long learning.
• Exploration of the purposes and benefits of art/creativity, including the roles and responsibilities of artists to our society.

To help us to move into this next phase, we are pleased to announce AccessArt has become a member of the Council for Subject Associations  and that we have also appointed Trevor Horsewood as Business Manager.

“I’ve been a huge fan of AccessArt and their work for years, so I am really excited to be joining such a great team, and looking forward to working with the AccessArt community and members.” Trevor

Trevor will work closely with myself and the team to ensure that we have a robust foundation from which to grow. Find out more about the team and Trustees here.

The recognition as a Subject Association, combined with increased capacity, will enable us to pursue even more partnership working. We invite interested individuals, schools, cultural organisations and other subject associations to get in touch, and together explore how we can use our combined voice to create more appetite, understanding and demand in visual arts education.

Wishing you a peaceful but inspired 2023,

Paula Briggs, CEO and Creative Director, AccessArt
January 2023

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