Art For Everyone

Deborah Chisman runs Art for Everyone classes at Shaftesbury Arts Centre.  Here Deborah tells us about her courses and some great activities to keep everyone amused during the current crisis.

How long have you been running your courses at the Arts Centre?
Almost 8 Years, time flies when you’re having fun! And lots of my lovely class members have been there since the very beginning. A huge thanks to them!

How frequently do the classes take place?
Every Thursday there’s one class in the morning and one in the afternoon. I basically keep to the school term dates, so run three courses a year.

Do members have to be of a certain standard?
No. All the groups are of mixed ability including absolute beginners.  Everyone supports each other and a willingness to just have a go is warmly welcomed! The sessions are structured and fully tutored with a mixture of demonstrations, step by step instruction and individual projects. But above all, everyone has fun.

What themes do you cover?
Each term we explore a range of subjects, materials and techniques, both traditional and experimental. Everyone has the opportunity to discover their own unique style.

And do you also have group projects?
Yes. We have a fabulous exhibition and social get together once a year to show off what we’ve been up to. Right now, we have some really great art ready to show including a wonderful group project where each student painted a small section of a well-known Van Gogh painting, either “Vincent’s chair with pipe” or the famous “Sunflowers”. Then we put them all together and they fitted, matching at the joins! Our very own larger than life Van Gogh paintings.  Wow, they looked sensational!

So, how can people get painting in the current circumstances?
Starting in April I’m putting some free drawing and painting activities on my Facebook page ‘Deb Chisman – Art for Everyone’.  This is for all my students and anyone else who would like to have a go. I’ll also be posting a variety of fun family activities, drawing challenges and step by step painting instructions.

Why would you encourage people to have a go? 
Although these are difficult times, we’ve all been given the gift of extra time so why not use it to try something new and hopefully find a joyful new hobby?

And if people are interested in joining your classes when they resume, what should they do?
Email or phone 01258 820349.