A historic art school in West Cornwall has introduced the next phase of an innovative, free Youth Program, giving both local and national young artists the opportunity to exhibit work in the cultural heart of Cornwall.

The St Ives School of Painting, which is a registered charity, has extended its provision for the 13-16 age group with the introduction of the Porthmeor Art Collective – a free online programme which can be accessed all over the UK and begins on 12th October. 

Youth Arts Manager, Cat Lee, explained: “Our Youth Programme started modestly in the early 2000s, but has grown significantly in recent years. The Porthmeor Art Collective is the logical next step as it provides sustained tuition over a period of weeks, working towards the major goal of a group exhibition. The fact that the course is designed and taught by an emerging artist is possibly unique, and reinforces the School’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent.”  

Spearheaded by 25 year old Caleb Richards, a Cornish emerging artist, the online program explores art from a contemporary perspective, including how it contributes to pop culture and influences the way young people see themselves and the world around them.

Progressing beyond isolated workshops, the Porthmeor Art Collective will offer an extended course-like structure, encouraging young people to pick up a paintbrush and think like an artist.

The young creatives will learn the vital skills that practicing artists use daily when creating work, as Caleb explains: “Every budding creative has it within themselves to create beautiful artworks, whatever age they may be. When I was in my teens, I craved this insight and encouragement when scribbling spooky faces in my bedroom. With this course I hope to offer useful tips and tricks, and help participants develop a pragmatic process which they can use every time they approach a new piece of work.”

At the end of the 5-week course, work by all participants will be displayed in a one-day public exhibition, celebrating their achievements and showcasing the emerging talent of this next generation of creatives.

The young artists, alongside their friends and family, will attend the private view to mark the occasion, reinforcing the supportive community environment that the Porthmeor Art Collective provides.

The St Ives School of Painting has a distinguished reputation going back to its beginnings in the 1930s; over the years, many notable artists have flocked to St Ives to find inspiration in these atmospheric studios overlooking Porthmeor Beach.

The original vision for the School – which was founded by the celebrated artist Leonard Fuller – was: “To assist the many residents and visiting students in attaining the requisite proficiency to enable them to express themselves adequately in various mediums”.

This vision of creative equality continues to drive the ethos of the School under Director Alison Sharkey, and over the years the St Ives School of Painting has played a major role in establishing a creative hub in this geographically remote – and totally unique – Cornish town.

To join the free project and be part of the young artists St Ives exhibition, visit the website for more information: http://schoolofpainting.co.uk/young-artists/ or follow @porthmeor_youngartists on Instagram.

Project Dates: 12th Oct, 19th Oct, 26th Oct, 2nd Nov, 9th Nov @ 4.30pm

Exhibition: 21st November 11am-3pm, Private view 3pm – 5pm

Showcasing the next generation of artistic talent

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