This week, Second Year students ran a workshop for a secondary school class at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College Teaching School. This was part of the Unit X Educator option, which supports students who are interested in teaching or running workshops as part of their practice. This year a mixture of students from across the School (including Fine Art, Art History, Three Dimensional Design and Textiles in Practice) are working together to develop and deliver workshops in schools and community settings.
“Many students (particularly from Fine Art) go into teaching so this is an important part of their practice. Even if you don’t want to teach it is useful to know how to put together and deliver a workshop to accompany an exhibition. This is why this unit teaches you the practicalities of doing so and gives you placement work experience to develop these skills.” (Anna Frew, Associate Lecturer and Art and Design Outreach Tutor)
Today’s group (comprising of Fine Art and Art History students) ran a workshop to help Year 8 pupils create animations that will be exhibited at Manchester School of Art’s Benzie Vertical Gallery between 4th and 9th April as part of the ‘Out of Schools’ show. This annual show is an annual exhibition of pupil’s work from schools across the region that showcases the exceptional achievements in art and design from early years to college students.
Manchester is the European City of Science for 2016 so this year’s theme for the ‘Out of Schools’ show is ‘the Peppered Moth’. This project considers the impact of the industrial revolution on the evolution of the moth. An increase in industrial pollution led to an increase in the number of dark-coloured moths, whereas cleaner environmental conditions (after the Clean Air Act of 1956) led to a decrease in that population and an increase in lighter colour moths.
Students worked with pupils at BTHCC to explore this concept by creating short animations using a stopframe technique for which pupils constructed the moths (from wire, acetate and tinfoil), background scenery, and then made their films by putting together a series of photographs using tablets.
Meanwhile we caught up with art teacher Miss Collings who is also a past MMU graduate (having studied Illustration and then a PGCE at MMU). She loves teaching and said that having students in was great as it really inspires the pupils. She was excited to meet students who are interested in teaching and was keen to encourage students to take up work placements in schools. Her top tip for being a teacher was to be yourself and to think of ways you can inspire pupils to try new things.
“What I like best about teaching art is the kids. They make you laugh. They give me ideas for my own work too, they keep it fresh by looking at ideas. It’s like being in the studio everyday with people to bounce ideas off – there are just 200 of them!” (Miss Collings, Art teacher at BTHCC)
Many thanks to the staff and pupils of BTHCC. We look forward to the exhibition of their work in April!