Students from the Sixth Form College have this week been flexing their creative muscles by preparing for the Bertarelli Foundation’s Creative Minds Festival. They are working with Creative Arts North Staffordshire (CANS) on artistic projects which has kicked off with painting in the Main Atrium.
CANS are a local company who work with young people in the City with an emphasis on non-conformative urban art. Students have been divided into two groups and are taking it in turns to paint individual canvases which will make a larger mosaic based on the festival’s Olympic theme which features the tagline ‘Higher, Faster, Stronger’. When they are not busy with their brushstrokes, students will be behind the camera capturing the action which will be used for a documentary to be screened at the festival at the Regent Theatre.
Hannah Burgess, a former pupil of Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, is one of the students taking part in the festivities. “It’s nice to get out of the classroom for a day and do something different”, she said. “We’re working as a big team and we’re looking forward to seeing the final piece at the Regent Theatre when it is all put together.”
Ex James Brindley High School student Annie Greenhough and Emelia Eccles, formerly of Clayton High School, also added colour to their canvasses. “We haven’t done anything like this before”, they said. “This is an opportunity to do something new. We’ve had lots of people looking at our work over the day, and it’ll be nice to see what it looks like when it is finished.”
“The theme is around the Olympics. We’ve got a Union Jack background with an Olympic flame on it. It represents the Olympic values which bring the community together”, they added.
Those videoing the day’s event were also enjoying the experience. Shaun Boden (formerly of Haywood Engineering College), Amy Sheldon (formerly of Edensor Technology College) and Jack Sargeant (formerly of Endon High School) are some of the students who have been documenting the day.
"We’re creating a 5-6 minute documentary to be screened at the main event at the Regent Theatre”, they said. “It’s the first time we’ve made a documentary and we’re learning a lot. Making a documentary is more time consuming than we’d first imagined, it’ll take around two weeks to edit when it has been filmed. It’s also spontaneous as we’re filming live action, so we’re under pressure to perform.”
Chris Guest, co-founder of Creative Arts North Staffordshire, was impressed with the calibre of the Sixth Form College students. “They’re very enthusiastic”, he said. “They’ve followed instructions which is very important as they are working collaboratively. I have found them very interesting to talk to and I have been able to find out a lot about what they want to get out of life through their art.”
The Creative Minds Festival takes place at the Regent Theatre in Hanley on 3rd-7th July