Among examples of the previous projects were – In 2005 we gave grants of £125 to Elm Hall Primary School, Witham to help support an Arts Week and £125 to Howbridge Junior School to enable them to purchase batik materials. Both projects were extremely successful and some of the work was displayed at the October and November meetings.
In 2006 we provided a grant of £350 towards the cost of an ‘arts day’ at Little Haven Children’s Hospice. A company called Arts Solutions organized and ran the day. The facilitator Liz Anderson was so moved by the event that she donated her services free. The £350 The Arts Society Blackwater had made available would now be spent on much needed equipment. Brothers and sisters of the sick children were also invited to take part in what was a really inspiring and fun day for all.
In each case the member of the Committee responsible for Young Arts brings ideas to the Committee for a decision both on the project itself and the funding to be made available. For a number of years we worked with Primary Schools. An excellent example of this was at Woodham Mortimer Primary School where a mosaic situated on an outside wall of the school building was made with the assistance of pupils from the art department of the Plume School, Maldon. This was sponsored by The Arts Society Blackwater and also reported in the NADFAS Review.
And a similar project in 2009 financially supported the making of a mural by pupils of Great Totham Primary School, which was placed in the school hall. The mural depicts scenes from the life of the school. The scenes illustrate the school motto “Enjoy, Respect and Achieve”.
A more ambitious project in 2008 was a competition and exhibition of works featuring paintings and drawings from senior pupils at the Maltings Academy, Witham and the Plume School, Maldon. A submission for a grant had previously been made to NADFAS in Sept.2009 and this was successful. The week prior to the Exhibition saw members of the committee collecting display boards, art work and preparing paintings for hanging. On the day before the Exhibition these members and other volunteers spent six hours assembling display boards and hanging paintings. Many of the same members staffed the Exhibition on Saturday 15th May. It involved lot of work for the volunteers, and was it worth it? From the comments of members of the public who visited the Exhibition the answer was a definite “ Yes”.. Comments ranged from – “A Great Exhibition” – “Very Impressive” – “Fantastic work by all” – “A marvellous show” – “So glad I came to see such talent”.
Each year The Arts Society Blackwater decide on a new project and recently we have supported Secondary Schools, and have been involved in submitting entries to the Arts Society and Royal Society of British Artists exhibition. Committee members have visited the Plume School Maldon, Thurstable School Tiptree and Maltings Academy Witham to see the work of students and make selections of suitable art-works to send to The Arts Society for possible selection.