Children at a Beverley primary school are to have their artistic skills put on display as part of an innovative arts-in-business programme.
Pupils at the St Nicholas Primary School – some as young as four – have been taking part in the ‘Future Me’ project, giving them a direct input to the town’s biggest commercial development for decades, the Flemingate regeneration scheme.
All 330 pupils at the school, which is adjacent to the scheme, have been working with arts consultant Elaine Burke and artist Simon Crook to produce drawings that will soon be displayed on hoardings around the site and at an exhibition in the town.
Organised in association with the Flemingate developers, the Hull-based Wykeland Group, this is one of two bespoke arts and engagement initiatives involving Elaine and the company, the other being based around the Bridgehead Business Park at Hessle.
Elaine said: “The aim of these projects is to take an innovative approach to making a positive impact on children and young people. Wykeland is keen to support the aspiration and potential of the next generation and this project is an excellent example of how companies can use art to engage meaningfully with communities
“At St Nicholas Primary, artist Simon Crook has taught the pupils to create cartoon-style self-portraits. The children thought about how they see themselves in their adult life, for example as an engineer, builder, footballer, fashion designer or an artist. Simon will incorporate all 330 drawings onto three large hoardings that will be erected along part of the site boundary”.
Three smaller replica hoardings have been presented to the school and have also been included in an exhibition at St. Mary’s Church, Beverley, in association with the town’s ‘Off The Wall’ arts event on Saturday 12 July organised by Georgian Quarter businesses and a range of artist groups and other organisations.
Head teacher Liz Pollard said: “This has been such an unusual and exciting exercise for the children and it has really had an impact on them, not least in raising their awareness and understanding of the Flemingate scheme, what it involves and the impact it will have on their town, especially in terms of job opportunities”.
Guy Evans, Head of Development at Wykeland, said the company was delighted to be involved in the Flemingate and Bridgehead arts projects.
He added: “We realise that such large-scale developments have an impact on the lives of local people – mostly a very positive impact in terms of job creation and better local facilities – but we are always looking to find ways of linking our work with the local community.
“By engaging with the children through art, we have helped them to gain a much better understanding of the Flemingate development and we hope passers-by will take a few moments to admire their work on the hoardings”.
Our photograph shows some of the children at St Nicholas Primary School, Beverley, who have taken part in the arts in business programme along with: (left ro right) Guy Evans, Head of Development at the Wykeland Group; artist Simon Crook; Jo Lewis, Achievement for All Champion, and arts consultant Elaine Burke.