The Corinium Museum worked with young people from Cirencester College to provide them with the opportunity to explore archeology through art. The participants were made up of those studying archeology at college, as well as creative media students. The Arts Award was built into the project from the beginning to add value to the work created.
Participants took part in a number of workshops outside of school time, where they developed new skills and eight achieved their Bronze Arts Award in the process.
The course ran for three days a week over eight weeks, enabling each young person to develop new skills and build up a portfolio of work. The Bronze Arts Award was delivered alongside the workshops, providing a structure for the activities and an overall focus for the young people.
Participants worked with professional artists and photographers in workshops that covered a wide range of visual art, including bronze smithing and prehistoric decoration. They learned a number of techniques such as metal embossing, portrait photography, printmaking, photo montage and designing cartoons. The emphasis was always on fun, engagement and personal development.
The project opened up new experiences, artistic methods and art forms to the young people and provided a foundation for them to develop their skills in the arts in the future.
Having the Arts Award as a core aspect of the project helped to keep the young people focused on the project and gave them an extra incentive to stay committed to the project over the long term. The award also ensured that different elements of the arts are experienced, broadening the minds of young people.
As the Arts Award is an informal learning pathway, but recognised nationally, it offers a different way of learning to the young people involved. Adviser Emma Finch found this to be important because although there are still key elements to achieve, the young people had a choice as to ‘how’ they wanted to achieve them.
Emma noticed that the project helped to increase the confidence of the participants and, through integrated feedback, also provided a platform for consulting children and young people about the cultural services provided by their local council.
The Corinium Museum worked with Bronze Age metalsmith Neil Burridge, and Di Pattison, a visual artist who works with natural pigments and binding materials.
As part of their Arts Award, the group went to visit New Brewery Arts, an arts centre in the middle of Cirencester. The participants had never visited this facility before and were amazed by the variety of artist workshops and scale of the exhibitions hosted there.
The Corninium Museum currently relies on external funding for its Arts Award delivery. This year-long programme was funded as part of a Young Roots Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
Adviser Emma Finch found that the moderation was a great experience because it was held at a time when the young people had just finished hanging their exhibition. She felt the timing was important because the project was fresh in the participants’ minds. They were able to talk to the moderator about their arts experiences with enthusiasm and pride.
‘The Award helps to highlight provision for young people in their locality, provision which they might not have sought out independently. Now they are aware of it, they will no doubt visit again.’
Emma Stuart, adviser
‘Young people’s involvement in arts based projects and, in particular, their Arts Award achievement gives them a sense of purpose and something to be very proud of.’
Emma Stuart, adviser
‘I came here not knowing much about Prehistoric art and I will now be leaving knowing a lot more! I am thrilled with my Arts Award and hope to be able to do the Silver level soon.’
Sophie, 17, Arts Award Bronze
‘This project has opened a whole new world of materials that I can use in art.’
Callum, 17, Arts Award Bronze
The Corinium Museum in Cirencester worked in collaboration with Cirencester College to enable young people to explore archeology through the arts and gain their Bronze Arts Award. Through taking part in this innovative programme, participants gained many artistic skills and received a qualification to recognise their artistic development.