Offering the opportunity to develop creative skills and build confidence.
Step Up was an artist-led course funded by Futures (ESF) which offered participants the opportunity to develop their creative skills and build their own art practice.
The Step Up programme inspired and informed these emerging artists by introducing the work of other artists and art movements, offering guided gallery visits, and providing opportunities to explore different techniques and materials. Participants were all given sketchbooks and encouraged to use them to create their own visual language.
This ESF funded programme ran from September 2016 to April 2018.
The first Step Up worked within both Art Clubs (for people who have completed our Arts on Prescription programme), offering all participants the chance to learn the different aspects of making handmade books – including papermaking, calligraphy, printing, and book binding. Participants then curated their own exhibition to showcase the finished books.
The second Step Up offered 19 people who had already participated in our Arts on Prescription programme the opportunity to develop their creative skills further and begin to build their own art practice. This programme was led by artists Emma Wilde and Sophie Bennett, and supported by two volunteers who had been through the first Step Up course.
Participants were offered 10 additional workshops led by visiting artists. These included trips to Westbury Arts Centre and Milton Keynes Arts Centre to work with ceramicists, a talk on turning creativity into a business, and workshops on facing the fear of a blank page, working with found poetry, felt making, working with sound, creative photography, and creating portraits.
One-to-one tutorials with artists and extra studio time were also on offer to enable participants to develop their creative ideas even further. Two trips with minibus transport and tours were arranged to the Ashmolean in Oxford, and the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent. The programme ended with an exhibition at Milton Keynes Arts Centre in Great Linford.
The third programme worked with 8 people and was led by artist Emma Wilde with support from a volunteer. One-to-ones and Open Studio time were also on offer. The participants went on guided visits to The Higgins Gallery in Bedford and to the Ashmolean in Oxford. It culminated in an exhibition at the MK Gallery Project Space.