Next week, our Creative Pathways: Environmental Design block in Barrhead will come to an end, with the young people who have taken part unveiling digital artwork, prints, textiles and a stunning new mural to adorn an outer wall of the Auchenback Resource Centre!
The showcase event will take place on Friday 8th September 2017 between 1.30pm and 3.30pm at the ARC (64 Aurs Drive, Barrhead).
This fourteen week project has seen participants get to grips with a whole range of creative and design skills, learning how to use new software and expressing themselves artistically in their own voice.
There has been a strong environmental focus as well, and the young people have done a great job engaging members of the local community, finding out what is important to people in the area and how public spaces can be used to benefit both quality of life and the environment in the future.
The mural will also have an environmental theme, showing images of different ecosystems and using materials that may otherwise have a negative environmental impact – such as artificial grass.
Funding for the project has come from Inspiring Scotland, Barrhead Housing Association, and the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Bright Future initiative which supports projects helping young people lead progressive change in their communities.
From planning, hosting and marketing community consultation events, to building 3D scale models for future developments, the project has been a massive success in giving participants practical experience of creative techniques and making them more confident and vocal about what they want for their own futures and the future of their community.
While working together on a number of creative projects, the participants – who were all out of work at the beginning of the programme – have also had support with job-hunting and CV-writing, with a priority placed on achieving positive destinations for those involved.
Brendan, 18, has been on the project since it started in June. He speaks enthusiastically about the difference having this opportunity has made in his own life.
“At first, I thought I was just coming along for the money – £55 a week, sign me up. But as it’s gone on I got to know the people and enjoyed it a lot more.
“When I started I had only just moved to the area and I’m not usually the first person to go out and start things – but as it’s gone on you get more relaxed, get talking to people and there was more banter.
“The tutors were very helpful in building up confidence and getting you to try new things. I know that if I hadn’t been doing it, I would have been sitting in the house doing nothing. But now I feel a lot more confident, and a lot more confident about getting a job.”
How will he feel when he sees their artwork on proud display in the community? “I’ll feel proud. People will walk by the mural and we’ll know that we put that time in and helped do it. That’s pretty cool.”
The programme has been led by tutors and artists Heather Gault and Kaitlyn deBiasse.
Lead Tutor Heather says: “This group of young people have done incredible work and have really thrown themselves into trying new techniques with amazing enthusiasm. It’s been a privilege to work with them.
“As the programme has gone on, they’ve also gone from strength to strength personally, whether in how they communicate, how they work together or simply in how confident they are. These are majorly important when we consider the many challenges these young people are facing, and goes to show how vital such projects are.
“A healthy turnout on the day would be fantastic in properly celebrating these achievements, so I’d encourage anyone who can to make it along. It also promises to be a fun, relaxed atmosphere, and a chance to see some really great artwork and film.”
If you are interested in attending, or would just like to find out more, please contact Heather on 07810184043 or [email protected].