Students all set for Art Party

Scalby School Art project.Francesca Spencer,Artist Jade Montserrat,Jared Jones. 134710 richard ponter
Scalby School Art project.Francesca Spencer,Artist Jade Montserrat,Jared Jones. 134710 richard ponter

A Scarborough artist has been working on a project with youngsters on the run-up to this weekend’s Art Party Conference.

The event will take place at the Spa Complex on Saturday and is set to attract students and art lovers from all over the UK.

As part of the build-up, Jade Montserrat of Crescent Arts has been working with students at Scalby School on a project with a focus on activism and individuality.

Jade explained: “We’ve been looking at the work of Bob and Roberta Smith and one of the briefs was to make a banner and placard.

“The students have also been coming up with designs to screen print onto T-shirts and bags.”

She added: “I didn’t hold back or try to dumb down what I was doing with the students. There were some pretty challenging techniques that really spurred them on.”

The sessions were held over four weeks, with the last one taking place at Crescent Arts.

Jade said: “It’s been brilliant. I’ve tried to encourage individuality and unconventionality, hopefully giving the students a sense of feeling confident to present their art and have freedom of expression.

“They are really great kids and they’ve engaged with the project so well. Some of the banners they created were really good.”

During the project the students, from Year 9, 10 and 11, learnt about important works of art that make a political statement, including Picasso’s “Guernica”.

They have also studied designs used on trade union banners.

The Art Party Conference is the brainchild of Bob and Roberta Smith and has been co-organised by him with Scarborough’s Crescent Arts.

It is the first of its kind and will take place on Saturday from 2pm to 2am.

It is billed as an antidote to all other conferences and will act as a forum for debating the future of the arts in today’s climate of spending cuts and changes to the education system.

The Art Party, which is not aligned to any political party, hopes to influence decision makers to listen and to think again.

Bob and Roberta Smith says: “It’s going to be an extraordinary national event.

“We want to ask three vital questions: What first turned you onto art? How do you think art should be taught in schools? Why do you think art is important?

“It’s going to be a place where people can have their say, take a stand, have a rant, and tell us exactly what’s going on in their world in the arts.

“With so much creativity on offer, it’s going to be serious fun!”

For more information and a full run-down of the Arts Party programme, see page 65 in our WOW 24/7 Entertainment section.