See the AccessArt Stars!

The AccessArt Star

AccessArt thinks we should all be shouting a little bit louder about the good work we all do. For this reason we recently launched the AccessArt Star – a way to highlight and celebrate the work taking place at grassroots level, by individuals, to support visual arts education.

If you think YOU deserve a Star, or know someone who you think should have a Star, then please find out more and make your nomination here.

Here are the AccessArt Stars so far!

Tracy Pilkington



I am currently a teaching assistant at Shirland Primary School in Derbyshire, a post which I thoroughly love! Before this I was a graphic designer for 15 years with a small design and print company and have always had a keen interest in promoting creativity.

In school I run an after school art club for all our KS2 children where I try to inspire the children I work with to investigate artists, styles, materials and whenever possible use natural and recycled materials to help create their artwork.

I am very much a believer that there is no right or wrong way to make art so really try to encourage all that I work with to have a go!

I am very proud of my Access Art Gold Star and would like to say a big thank you.

Megan Stallworthy

Megan Stallworthy


I am a part-time specialist art teacher at Sticklepath Community School in Barnstaple. I am the subject leader for Art and Design at the school and teach the subject from Year 1 to Year 6.

I am also a bookbinder having trained at Brighton University after a Design History degree, before completing a PGCE in Primary Art and Design at Exeter University.

I have taught bookbinding extensively to art and design students at further and higher education level, and am currently an associate lecturer at Falmouth University teaching bookbinding to Graphic Design degree students.

I run regular workshops in bookbinding at arts centres and book festivals in the South West of England.

I make books with the children at Sticklepath School whenever I can. The children make their own sketchbooks every year, and we make artist’s books and story books too. When art teaching and bookbinding come together I feel I have the perfect job!

I am so happy to receive the AccessArt Gold Star, thank you very much.

Kathryn Argyle

Kathryn Argyle


I am the Leader of Learning for Art at Crossley Fields Junior and Infant School in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.

After studying to become a teacher at University College Chester, specialising in Art, I worked at Ireland Wood Primary school in Leeds. As Art coordinator there, we applied for and retained the Artsmark Gold award. The Art Club even came reginal runners up in the AXA Art of Sport competition.

In 2005 I moved to Crossley Fields as KS2 and Literacy coordinator, initially having little responsibility for art other than with my own class. However, after having children and returning to school I resigned from the more senior role and instead became the Leader of Learning for Art. In the last few years my role at school has changed, allowing me to teach more and more of the art across the school, and thus help to raise its status. Inspired by some of the other schools in the local area and supported initially by Natalie Dean, we are developing an interesting and varied curriculum. We have now revamped the old DT area into a super art room and at last the kiln which has sat dormant for the best part of a decade is now being used. I feel it is very important to engage with both our locality and local artists, so whenever possible I display samples of the children’s work publicly and employ artists to further enrich the children’s experiences.

Kerri Sellens

Kerri Sellens


I am the Specialist Art Teacher at Lansbury Lawrence Primary School in Poplar, East London. Prior to this position I was a class teacher in Hackney, and prior to that position I ran a creative business and worked in galleries and museums. I have a degree in Fine Art, and a Primary PGCE from the Institute of Education, where I also specialised in Art. I currently lead both the Art and Design and Design Technology curriculum provision at my school.

I feel incredibly privileged to work with all of the children at Lansbury Lawrence, and believe it is my role to inspire them creatively both in class and through the amazing cultural opportunities London has to offer. As part of this commitment I am on the Primary Advisory Panel for The Photographers Gallery, and one of A New Direction’s Cultural Leaders.

Thank you very much for my AccessArt Gold Star nomination.


Amanda Warren

Amanda Warren


I am so fortunate to be teaching Art & Design and Design & Technology at Ipswich Prep in a room I helped to design, a room with a view, one of the highest lookout points in the town. We encourage the children to use their senses and sensibilities, to explore a wide range of processes and techniques and to feel confident about engaging with and interpreting works of art. The children come to their lessons full of enthusiasm and ideas; they love to use their hands, hearts and minds. We regularly employ local artists to enrich the curriculum, and they have contributed with activities as diverse as clay modelling, life drawing and conceptual projects involving film. The broader curriculum provides some, but not all of our inspiration and Year Six gain enormously from visiting the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts in Norwich.

I have been, to a greater or lesser extent, an artist practitioner since student days in Brighton, creating art in a tiny studio and exhibiting locally. When I left my class teacher role in the state sector I set up an art network group to keep in contact with the wider teaching community. We are a diverse, open and welcoming group, meeting termly. I am currently Secretary of the IAPS Area 9 Art & Design Subject Leaders’ Group. A former member of the NUT Primary Advisory Committee, I feel strongly that the arts have a crucial part to play in primary education and our voices need to be heard. AccessArt is a fabulous organisation and I am proud to have been nominated for an AccessArt Star!

For information about the Art Network Group see

Caroline Hill

Caroline Hill

Making SENse was started two years ago. I work in residential care homes with young adults with PMLD needs; those on the autistic spectrum and have started working with people with Dementia. I offer creative activities which aim to engage and stimulate the residents. The sessions additionally encourage communication and social interaction which I was very keen to promote.
The sessions offer sensory based activities and I have found that Art has opportunities to tap into so many of the senses.
I am constantly impressed by the work produced each week and love to share examples of the work through my facebook business page Making SENse.

I have lots of aspirations for this business and having a gold star is such a great personal achievement which I will be sharing with the individuals I work alongside.

Andreia Silva

Andreia Silva


I’m an occupational therapist working on the past 5 years with adults with learning difficulties in a residential care setting in Portugal.

Since I’ve started, I understood the power of involving art in my practice to achieve my therapeutic goals! I wanted to learn more about arts and then I had training in inclusive dance, education through the arts, music therapy, dance and movement therapy, and psychology of art.

Today I run music, inclusive dance, visual art sessions with my clients with learning difficulties, and sensory stories and art sessions with my clients with PMLD. Last year after meeting Joanna Grace and her structured sensory art project I run it in Portugal as Project CriART and the results were really amazing.

Giving opportunities for my clients to participate in the arts, is essential for me, so besides the sessions in the residential care setting, I’ve facilitated some visits to art exhibitions with sensory structured activities to turn them accessible for persons with learning disabilities and PMLD.

Last year I become associated of Access Culture, an institution promoting access to culture in Portugal and I started my master degree in accessible communication, on which I’m working on some research projects to promote active participation of persons with PMLD in creating visual arts.

Kyle Baddeley

Kyle Baddeley


I teach Art in an alternative provision for students who have been severely bullied or have suffered other trauma. My approach mixes material-based exploration with the practice of visual storytelling.

Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace is an international special educational needs and disabilities consultant and founder of The Sensory Project. The Sensory Project runs on the idea that with the right knowledge and a little creativity, inexpensive items can become effective tools for inclusion. In all her work Jo is seeking to contribute to a world where people are understood in spite of their differences.

Mandy Barrett

Mandy Barrett

Mandy Barrett is an artist and Specialist Art teacher working at a primary school in West Yorkshire.
After leaving school she studied for four years at Bretton Hall University, situated within the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where she gained a BEd in Primary Education, specialising in Art.
She has taught within primary Schools since 2002 and has recently taken on the post of Specialist Art teacher at Gomersal Primary School. She has had the opportunity to revamp an old art room into a fully functioning, creative, bustling environment where children are taught art projects on a weekly basis. Over 420 children now have the opportunity to learn a variety of art skills and take part in a colourful, creative curriculum within this space, with sketchbook use as a particular focus. Local artists are also employed to enhance the curriculum and to work with children and adults during after school clubs.
Mandy is now beginning to offer support to the local primary schools within her network and runs a school art blog and Twitter account to showcase the children’s work.

Andy Berriman

Andy Berriman

A long time ago, I left a career in Interactive TV development to become an art teacher.

On my way to work I made sketches of people on my little digital ‘Casio organiser’ – a little like this one:

I showed print-outs of these during my application to the Goldsmiths PGCE course and to my first teaching role.

My first teaching role was working under Henry Ward at Welling School.

I can honestly say that I learnt more about art at Welling than in any other institution.  The team was amazing.

I left Welling in 2009 to become HOD of the Art Department at RES in Walton-on-Thames  

I wrote an article for AE as a way of protesting against Michael Gove’s denigration of the creative subjects – read that here:

My primary aim is to enjoy what I do in the classroom and to pass my enthusiasm on to my students.

This necessarily involves the process of encouraging students to recognise their innate creative potential.

My aim is for as many students as possible to create personal, meaningful work –along the lines of Michael Rosen’s article here:

Each year I work hard with my excellent team to generate extra-curricular arts activities, promote the arts both inside and outside our school and attempt to break down barriers and misconceptions that might limit access to, or understanding of the arts.

At the end of each year our department holds an exhibition at the Robert Phillips Gallery in the Riverhouse Barn – a lovely local arts venue in Walton-on-Thames.

We use the school mini-bus to take lower-school students to see the work on display.

My most favourite recent moment was listening to the enthusiastic comments from a group of surly Yr 9 boys who had been reluctant to get onto the bus.

They said things like:

“that’s sick sir”.

I particularly enjoy making posters and promotion material in the run up to our exhibitions.  I like representing student work with the care that might usually be associated with ‘professional’ artwork.  See some examples here:


Natalie Deane

Natalie Deane


Natalie has dedicated her working career to the promotion of professional arts projects and arts education. She spent 12 years working in senior roles as a Local Government Arts Development Officer and also worked as the director of two arts charities, one in Southern Ireland (The Cill Rialiag Project an International Artists Retreat).

10 years ago, she took up post as a specialist teacher for Art,Craft and Design at Battyeford School, West Yorkshire and soon became a leading advocate for this subject within the Authority, she gained AST status and went on to develop Battyeford Primary School as a centre for excellence for Primary Art, Craft & Design education, hosting training events for teachers and teacher trainees.

With a background in arts funding, Natalie can often be found assisting others to create exciting arts projects to fulfil a communities needs. Natalie lectures on the Kirklees Calderdale SCITT course and is a member of the national Expert Subject Advisory Group for Art, Craft and Design.

Natalie also hosts a Facebook Group named WY-Art,Craft & Design for teachers and practitioners based in West Yorks.


Melissa Hardwick

Melissa Hardwick


For the last five years I have been Director of the Kentish Town Improvement Fund which is an arts and health charity in north London. Our public face and arts programme is called the Free Space Gallery and consists of an exhibition space, an artist in residence programme, creative workshops and an art therapy programme. We also run dance classes for people with Parkinson’s and a choir for people with chronic conditions.

Having started the arts programme I have been able to have the pleasure of really growing it from the ground up into what it is today, an award winning programme for staff, patients and the community.

Prior to working in this role I coordinated arts activities for infirmary patients at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, studied a Masters in Human Rights and Bachelors in Archaeology.

I have always been involved in the arts, creating my own art, organising arts activities and using art as a campaigning tool. I have a belief in its power to aid individual and collective expression and to really be something through which people can communicate and often find common ground.

I hope to be able to continue devising and delivering creative programmes in the future and see this as increasingly important in NHS contexts.


Shermaine Slocombe

Shermaine Slocombe


I trained in the visual and performance arts and have exhibited and toured in the UK and in Europe.

My work has been inspired by dance, the communities of carnival and public spaces which give these communities a sense of ownership. This reflects the nature and purpose of my work and my motivation for joining the community that is Corelli College. As the Arts College Manager, my role encompasses all my passions and experience as well as choreographing and producing many successful productions for our acclaimed Drama Department (Kidbrooke Theatre Company) directed by Lucy Cuthbertson.

At Corelli College we don’t need to prove the value of the arts in education, we know. Our objective is to ensure young people in state education can achieve professional standards in the arts. We provide opportunities for young people to work with creative organisations and dynamic individuals to support their learning and share their achievements in a public or professional context.

We aim to take the lead in new approaches to learning so our students develop the learning skills they need for the 21st century and to be curious about the world around them.

The arts stimulate a sense of ambition for our young people by providing inspiration and opportunities which enrich their lives. Creativity encourages participation, collaboration and co-operation, which form the heart of our community and the co-operative values our Academy is founded on. This brings genuine excitement, energy and colour to the life of our college and wider community.
@shemyslocs | @KidbrookeTC | @corellicollege |


Julie Taylor

Julie Taylor


My name is Julie Taylor and I teach and create art in primary schools in and around Oldham and Tameside in the north of England.

After leaving school I studied 3D design in metal at Lancashire Poly from 1988-1990, after which I became a Jewellery designer for a multi national company in Leeds.
I decided it wasn’t very creative and met up with my old Art teacher from school who suggested that I volunteer in her special school for children with mild learning difficulties. I went from a volunteer, CSA, night school teacher, 16+ tutor, to full blown secondary teacher within 4 years!

My original subject was Design & Technology, but I taught Art whenever I got the chance!
After 15 years of teaching full time I ended up leaving teaching for a while whilst supporting my young Aspergers / Dyslexic son through his early years in school after being permanently excluded from school in Reception! (Needless to say he needed some extra TLC, but is now 13 years old and is just like any other teenager!)

I created my own business as an Artist in resident and called it Pink Aardvark Arts! Over the past 8 years I have been fortunate to work alongside some wonderful and talented children and staff in the primary sector.

I love the diverse work and have relished the opportunity to introduce new and exciting artists and artwork to the younger years.
I am very proud to be nominated for the AccessArt Star Award and hope you enjoy looking at some of the children’s work on my website!

Pink Aardvark Arts


Lydia Ashman

Lydia Ashman-001


I work as an Education Projects Manager at Bow Arts and a freelance producer. I love the capacity of art to empower people to break the rules, see the world differently and follow through their own ideas. Through my work, I strive to create permissive learning environments where there is no right or wrong, and where people’s confidence, ideas and imagination can grow. I fundamentally believe that art education can support people to engage with the world around them and understand and reach their potential.

At Bow Arts I manage a broad range of artist-led programmes with schools across East London. I am to build positive relationships between teachers, artists and young people that enable effective collaboration. I lead on 10 Experiments, an action-research project aimed at supporting schools to undertake more risk-taking programmes.

Alongside Ania Bas and Simone Mair, I run The Walking Reading Group. This project, running since 2013, facilitates knowledge exchange in an intimate and dynamic way through discussing texts whilst walking together. In this reading group the table is broken up by the street and the dominant voice is replaced with the sound of conversation partners talking simultaneously. Anyone can participate and the walks are free to attend.

I have an MA In Arts Policy and Management from Birkbeck College where I specialised in arts and education and community engagement. My dissertation interrogated the function of risk-taking in gallery and arts education and the role of the artist to mobilise institutional change.

I love to play with words and images, and keep a blog with some of the results.


Jon Purday

Jon Purday


I am a practicing painter and currently Head of Art at Clapton Girls’ Academy. I am passionate about educating students into developing their own art practice inspired by contemporary and past historical Art.

I frequently collaborate with other teachers/ artists and am currently involved with Tate’s Common Projects. I will be taking sixth form students on a trip to Paris with Rydens School in Surrey with the HoA there, Andy Berriman, a former colleague.

As an artist myself there are often opportunities to share successes and failures of my own practice with students. I run an oil painting club where students can explore how to build a painting and develop painting skills and frequently collaborate with other teachers/ artists such as the Tate’s Common Projects. I will be taking sixth form students on a trip to Paris with Rydens School in Surrey with the HoA there, Andy Berriman, a former colleague.

I am about to make a screen print with an online gallery I am with that will be taken along with original paintings to art fairs in New York and Seoul in September.

I am also anticipating an exciting and busy 2016 which will see me included in a group show in Beijing. In 2017 I am scheduled to deliver a series of painting classes at the Royal Art academy in Beijing also.


George Fraser Mendelson

George Fraser Mendelson


As a 6th former George co-founded an arts collective, ARTISJUSTAWORD, setting himself on a path of innovative and socially engaged projects. Over the last decade he has been instrumental in bringing disparate groups of people together to promote and explore art.

His own background and experiences, in particular finding school challenging until reaching the 6th form where he was fortunate to work with an inspiring group of teachers, have helped to inform his practice and he is focused on art’s ability to empower young people. He is a founding member of the charity VIP+, which supports children and young people, enabling them to have access to activitie’s in the school holidays. He is currently a senior practitioner for The Art 
Room, a charity aimed at 5-16 year olds who are experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties. Here art is offered as therapy to help increase their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence.

George passionately believes in the power of art and in supporting innovation in communities. He is committed to art making a difference and enabling everyone to recognise and realise their creativity.


Vega Brennan

Vega Brennan


Vega Brennan is a teacher, an artist and a printmaker She has been working as an art teacher at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith since 2004. In 2008, she set up Art Education North West, a grassroots network with the aim of advocating for art education in Cumbria and Lancashire. Art Education North West now supports 250 art educators with meetings and workshops at schools and galleries in Cumbria and Lancashire and has a very active Facebook page.

She also works with the educational charity Cumbria Printmakers, providing an open access studio and gallery with specialist printmaking equipment for artists and the local community to use. This links back to her first MA in the History of the Print at University College London where she spent most of her days looking at prints in the British Museum Print Room.

Her MA in Fine Art and Education at the University of Northumbria (Artist Teacher scheme) gave her the chance to print onto thread and other strange surfaces. She continues to work mainly with woodcut, but also enjoys mashing digital and traditional media to explore ideas of value, exchange and connections between people.

Twitter: @cumbriaprint


Dave Webster

Dave Webster


Dave Webster is Associate Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement for Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Colleges of Arts part of the University of the Arts London.

He has over 20 years experience within Higher Education sector at both a national and international level. From 2004 -2014 he was Lead Academic for the Tate/UAL Portfolio Day which saw over 600 students get advice and guidance from FE/HE staff.

He has also led a number of collaborative projects to increase awareness of Art and Design options for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He is interested in supporting any projects, which support access to Higher Education and/or promote Art and Design for people from a diverse range of backgrounds.


Victoria Furze

victoria Furze


Victoria is an artist, art teacher and ‘creative experimenter’ living and working in London.

After studying fine art at Nottingham Trent University, she travelled extensively, picking up and learning about different crafts, techniques and forms of art on route, all of which she uses to help enthuse and inspire the children that she teaches. She has been teaching for the last six years at Prospect House School in Putney.

She is very committed to furthering the importance of drawing and observation skills being taught to children as her own artistic practice is very closely linked to this.

If not drawing or out walking with her lurcher, she can always be found experimenting with some technique or other, be it ceramics, textiles or wood down at the bottom of the garden in her studio shed.


Elizabeth Cook 

Elizabeth Cook


Liz has been working as an artist in education since 2004 and has been passionate about all things art and textiles related for decades.

She has worked on many art projects with a wide range of schools, facilitated workshops with organisations from the RNIB, the Royal Opera House and the Unicorn Theatre, to Central & Cecil’s Creative Arts programme, Camden’s Out Of School Learning programme and with schoolrooms in London hospitals such as the Royal Free, University College hospital and Great Ormond Street hospital.

From 2012 Liz has worked as the resident artist/teacher in the Great Ormond Street schoolroom where she is fortunate enough to run a wide variety of creative art sessions that run alongside the existing curriculum, as well independently of it. She works one-to-one with children on the wards and teaches art sessions for both primary and secondary aged students in the schoolroom.

To get a flavour of the GOSH schoolroom follow the link to their magazine GOSLING

Elizabeth Cook

Liz continues to take on short projects with schools alongside her work with GOSH.


Susan Schwake

Susan Schwake


Her passion for teaching art has found her working in diverse settings for over 20 years. Susan has created permanent exhibitions of children’s art, involving hundreds of children’s work displayed in public buildings.

She has inspired thousands of people through residencies in a wide range of settings as well as her school at artstream.

Recently, she has taken her classroom online with the new series of e-courses geared for beginners, teachers and seasoned artists alike. She is most excited about hosting the unique overnight Art Retreat Camp for adults on Mayhew Island again this year.

Susan’s latest book, Art for All Seasons features 40 creative art projects and follows the release of her first three books of the bestselling Art Lab for Kids series, which have been translated into five languages.

Susan has curated over 100 contemporary exhibitions at artstream and provides consulting services and curated exhibitions for corporate art clients. She exhibits her own work in the USA and abroad and playfully makes art every single day.


Gemma Whitelock

Gemma Whitelock


I am Head of Art at Sir Robert Pattinson Academy in Lincolnshire. I am passionate about my subject and love to share ideas and student work online. I am often found on Twitter as well as the amazing site – a space to share ideas. I also have my own blog where I share all things specific to my subject.

The Mrs Arty Textiles blog was set up to share the general ramblings and goings on in my classroom. I had never found anything online really before that was specific to teaching Textiles within Art and design-so I started something myself.

I am always told that the most useful part of the site is the Directory of Textiles Artists, this page is added to every year as my fabulous students find new and more interesting textile artists during their project work.

I am a firm believer that supporting each other sharing resources, showing off student work and generating conversation about art teaching is the way forward. I find the virtual community of art teachers such a supportive bunch and I am always more than happy to share ideas as I find just as many when I need a spark of inspiration for my teaching/planning.
Twitter: @mrsartytextiles


Vanessa Marr

Vanessa Marr


Vanessa is a graphic designer, artist and lecturer based in East Sussex. She has extensive design experience including working as an Art Editor for Dorling Kindersley (Penguin) and running her own design agency for 8 years. She has taught Art & Design for the past 7 years and is Course Leader for the Foundation degree in Graphic Communication for the University of Brighton, run in partnership with Sussex Coast College in Hastings. She regularly lectures at other Universities, including both BA and MA courses. Vanessa also teaches drawing on a variety of different creative courses and firmly believes that it is a skill that underpins all creative processes.

She is a member of the Drawing Research Group at the University of Brighton, the Chartered Society of Designers, Blue Monkey Artists Network, Sussex Book Arts and is also a founding member of the Fabula Illustration & Narrative Collective.

Twitter: @MarrVanessa


Elinor Brass

Elinor Brass
Elinor is a practising artist, Head of Art, artist teacher, doctorate student and Director of Gerald Moore Gallery at Eltham College in South East London.

The gallery commissions contemporary artists and curators, offers an extensive outreach programme, works with local community groups and delivers exciting cross-curricular projects, supports young people.
Elinor is studying for a doctorate at the Institute of Education exploring the tensions between being an artist, researcher and teacher running a gallery in a secondary school.

She has also been heavily involved in TEA establishing the TEA sketchbook circle, organising TEA events and exhibitions at Gerald Moore Gallery. She is also a member of the NSEAD council.


Andee Collard

Andee Collard
Andee Collard


Andee Collard is the Head of Specialism at Welling School, a specialist visual arts secondary school in Kent. The school has a long standing commitment to contemporary approaches to art practice; including innovative cross curricular courses like SciArt (Art and Science) and Canon (Art History linked with History).

Andee is the editor of a biannual newspaper “æ” published by Welling School as a platform to explore issues in Art and Eduction, sharing student work and writing alongside that of staff, established artists and writers.

Andee oversees Welling School’s onsite Gallery with a diverse programme of exhibitions ranging from one offs to the annual alTURNERtive Prize that highlights the independent practice of Welling School students.

Rachael Causer

Rachael Causer

Rachael Causer is an artist and designer living and working in London.

She studied textiles at Goldsmiths University and then went on to study fine art at Central St. Martins College.

She is very interested in craft and processes and has a diverse practice ranging from textiles, sculpture, print and ceramics.

She has worked as a designer making hand printed lighting and as a costume and prop-maker and teaches art in schools and facilitates workshops in a variety of settings.


Emily Wilkinson

Emily Wilkinson


Emily Wilkinson is an artist-maker and wordsmith based in Shropshire and Wales. She has worked with communities in London, Kent, Wales, Scotland and the Midlands, using creative activities to engage local people with place and the environment.

Visit Emily’s website

Jo Allen

Jo&Eddy mugshot


Jo Allen studied art as a mature student and since graduating from Goldsmiths has been working to promote the importance of a broad art curriculum in education.
She works with Q-Art, organisation that runs open and inclusive crits for students, graduates and artists and more. Q-Art was set up by fellow Goldsmiths graduate Sarah Rowles.
Jo teaches art in schools, runs workshops for young people and has recently set up an after school art club in a local community centre. She is also involved in research around the value of, and widening access to, art education.
Jo works with Rachael Causer whenever she gets the chance!

We Need Art:
Art Outreach with Rachael Causer:

Sharon Gale

Sharon Gale

Sharon Gale is a practicing mixed media artist and ‘artist in residence’ based at Northaw CE Primary School in Hertfordshire.

In 2009 she set up the Art Cabin, an art studio based in the school grounds, that provides art education, after school art clubs and workshops for the school children and the local community.

In the Art Cabin, children make art, led by Sharon to build their artistic awareness and confidence whilst having fun and getting messy in the process. Over the years, Sharon has generously shared her ideas and workshops with AccessArt.

Tracy McGuinness-Kelly

Tracy McGuinness-Kelly

Tracy is based in Cheshire where she operates as Teelee Design. Tracy has worked as a freelance illustrator for a number of companies, and her love of colour and playful forms is clear in her work. She also works in schools to share her skills and passions with children to create permanent artworks. Tracy has been most generous in sharing her working processes with AccessArt.

Teelee Design

Eileen Adams

Eileen Adams

Eileen Adams is a powerful advocate and force for the educational, design and artistic communities. She has been an inspiration, and thanks to her tireless work, has changed the face of visual arts education in relation to the built environment, the school landscape, public art, and most recently, the use of drawing as a tool for learning across all ages, abilities and disciplines.

In her work with The Campaign for Drawing, she has supported educators through courses and publications. She is the author of the series of ‘Power Drawing’ books

AccessArt would like to offer many thanks to Eileen for her support and mentoring over the years and for being the most fabulous keynote speaker in AccessArt’s Sketchbook Conference in 2011. It is a privilege to know and work with Eileen Adams and a great honour to be able to award her an AccessArt star!

Oliver West

Oliver West

“Oliver has taken his footnotes programme into every setting in this country and internationally, using visual practice to aid the development of communication skills and to build confidence particularly in students with learning difficulties. “I have worked alongside Oli for almost 20 years, when he worked as a visiting artist in my school. I have just retired as Head of Art at Truro High School, but have also had the chance to collaborate with Oli in exhibitions, workshops with adults. His commitment and passion cannot be doubted , and in these difficult times educationally in the UK. I think some one who is such a champion, for the power of the arts to change lives, should get wider recognition. He really deserves a star, possibly a knighthood”

“Sorry Oliver we can’t control your Knighthood, but we did enjoy visiting your site which really conveys your passion and the quality of the activities you offer” AccessArt

Julie Read at Portfolio Oomph

Portfolio Oomph

“Julie has given me loads of advice, help and support with my own art and business and has had a very positive influence on so many other’s. Very professional, articulate, knowledgeable and friendly advice.”

“Portfolio Oomph enables and empowers the next generation of artists by supporting them in their creation of their portfolios to get into art school. The website is non discriminatory and open for everyone from what ever back ground.”

“Portfolio Oomph is such a useful site serving such a niche – well done Julie. We’re sure you’ve helped an awful lot of people on their creative journey” AccessArt

Andrea Butler and Morag Thomson Merriman

Andrea Butler

“Andrea and Morag’s Star was awarded in recognition in their generosity of sharing their own very personal creative processes via the Visual Diary. We’re sure Andrea and Morag have encouraged and inspired many others to start their own Visual Diary. Andrea and Morag have also helped support the AccessArt community as proactive online tutors, and through the creation of other resources. Thank you – we appreciate your efforts, and well done!” AccessArt

Morag Thomson Merriman

Lala Thorpe

Lala Thorpe

“Lala has been on our radar for many years – we worked with her via Creative Partnerships and she is one of THE most smiley, enthusiastic and passionate people we know. Lots of projects on the go including art sessions for children, part time teacher, and working for the Design Museum. Please visit her site to find out more, and thank you Lala for being so inspiring!” AccessArt

Sue Gough

Sue Gough

“We love the way Sue Gough has been so generous in sharing both her creative practice and activities which others can try. Sue was our first I am AccessArt artist and we are sure her work will inspire many. It will be great for teachers to show her work and try her activities with their pupils, to widen the contextual study of art in schools.” AccessArt

Susan Coles

Susan Coles

“Susan Coles describes herself as an “Artist & Arts, Creativity & Educational Consultant”. She has demonstrated her passion and commitment to visual arts and visual arts education, working with a wide variety of organisations, schools, museums, galleries and advocacy organisations (President of NSEAD). Whenever I hear about Susan’s work, I can’t help but feel reassured for the future of arts education. Susan works on so many levels, with so many people, we can only begin to imagine the incredible impact of her energy. Bring on more ‘Susan Coles’ in the world!” AccessArt

Sue Grayson Ford

Campaign for Drawing

“Where would the world of drawing be without Sue Grayson Ford? Director of the Campaign for Drawing (which drives the Big Draw) and founder of the Serpentine Gallery, Sue has worked for many years with such energy, drive and focus. Sue is a great example of how a single person can inspire so many through continued commitment and hard work. Sue is an enabler – she brings people together, helps them to share and inspire each other, and she does so with determination and grace. We love you Sue and you’ve always been an inspiration to us!”  AccessArt

Aurora Cacciapuoti

Aurora Cacciapuoti


‘Last year Aurora worked behind the scenes to support AccessArt from volunteering her time to AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class to designing a poster and then leading a workshop for ‘The Big Art School Draw 2012’, which went on to win the NADFAS ‘Drawing Inspiration Award’ for ‘most successfully engaging young people in creative activities’. Aurora also gave her time and helped with content creation for ‘Draw Together’ an online drawing course for teenagers, published and directed by AccessArt, funded by VIVID and supported by Cambridge School of Art and Anglia Ruskin University. Aurora inspires and brings humour and fun to children’s lives, on a daily basis, with her book illustrations and we’d like to wish Aurora good luck on starting her M.A. course in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University this week’.

Ellie Somerset

Little Art Studio

“The Little Art Studio is run by Ellie Somerset in a timber framed studio in her garden in Sheffield. Ellie offers workshops to the whole community, and has been an active AccessArt member, contributing as an online tutor. We really value the idea of a small set-up like Ellie’s. Imagine if EVERY village or community had a similar studio for the community to access? What a lovely world that would be! Thanks Ellie.” AccessArt

Sharon Hodgson

Sharon Hodgson


“Sharon Hodgson MP for Washington and Sunderland West has worked tirelessly alongside NSEAD to set up the All Party Parliamentary Group
on Art, Craft, Design Education. Sharon is also chair of the group and she values the subject as an important part of the school curriculum
and for social and individual well being. She has been a super star in her support for art craft and design education.”

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