New Kickstart Team Gets Creative

Ella paints some example artworks for the ‘Out of this World’ programme.

Delight’s newest team members, Ella and Tasmin, take us behind the scenes as they settle in to their first few weeks. By Ella Breen.

Artswork

Tasmin and I have joined the team at Delight on the Kickstart programme as the new Arts Programme Administration Assistant and Communications Assistant. Our first few weeks have been spent completing training with Artswork, who provided us with the work placement at Delight for the next six months. Anna and Jane have been great at welcoming us to the Artswork team, encouraging us to sit in on meetings and inviting guest speakers along to talk to the group.

The other Kickstart employees are on placements in various roles at locations such as Poole Museum, Southampton SEP, In Focus, and the New Carnival Company on the Isle of White.

Tasmin and I are very lucky to have the opportunity to work both from home and in the office, as the pandemic has made this impossible for many of the other Kickstarters. Working with people face to face, I find, helps massively to build connections with the team and focus on tasks.

Preparations

At Delight, we’ve been busy preparing for the start of the new school year. Two of the projects we have been working on are the ‘Out of this World’ and ‘Rainforest Retreat’ art programmes. This preparation involves packing individual art boxes for pupils and teachers, so that they are ready to start creating when the programmes begin next term.

Example artworks loaded up to dry.

“I would have absolutely loved the opportunity to take part in something like this as a child interested in art!”

Ella Breen

We have been preparing lots of example works, which teachers can use to show the children what they will be making. This includes space textures, wooden birds, jungle dioramas, and colourful creatures painted onto acetate. The process of making these has been really enjoyable as both Tasmin and I have a background in the creative arts and love to paint. It has also been useful to take part in the making side of the projects as we get a better understanding of what the children will be doing in the programmes and how it relates to our work.

Examples of birds painted on acetate sheets for the ‘Rainforest Retreat’ programme.

CPD for Teachers

A big part of Delight’s programmes is the continued professional development (CPD) for teachers. This is an opportunity for teachers to learn and gain practical and transferrable skills in the creative arts to use in classrooms. We have had the chance to take part in the ‘Delight in Watts’, ‘Out of this World’, and ‘Delight in Dance’ CPD training sessions. it is useful for us as team members to attend these to see how the sessions are structured and how the teaching side works (and it’s also fun to take part in the activities).

We also met two of the education team from Delight’s art partner organisation, Watts Gallery Artists’ Village. It was exciting to hear their insight about the programme, to get information about logistics and to see the gallery grounds. The partnership Delight has with Watts Gallery is an amazing opportunity for schoolchildren, providing interactivity and a chance for them to display their work in the gallery at the end of the programme. I would have absolutely loved the opportunity to take part in something like this as a child interested in art!

After the October half term, the programmes will begin in schools. I will be following along closely with this and documenting the children and their projects, so stay tuned for some exciting updates about our programmes in the coming months.

Tasmin packs the art materials ready to send to schools.

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