Bowls chief ‘amazed’ by schools’ lack of interest
The financial director of Ashford indoor bowls centre says he “never wants to be involved with schools again” after a lack of interest in an artistic project aimed at youngsters.
Ken Hurran spoke about his vision to get a bare blockwork wall in the Jemmett Road premises decorated with a mural just over a year ago.
He extended the offer to 11 Ashford schools, he said, for budding young artists to submit designs of their choice.
The best one would be chosen, and the students would then come and paint it onto the wall at an agreed date.
The materials were to be supplied by the centre and the school would receive a cash prize of £1,000.
But it was only The John Wallis Academy in Millbank Road, Stanhope that expressed an interest - and agreed to do it.
The students turned up in their own time at 9am on Sunday to make a start on their landscape design, inspired by land near Eastwell Manor.
Michael Shepherd, the vice principal, said: “The Academy is very proud of our students and congratulations to Mr Bean, staff and the students for their achievements.”
Anthony Bean, the subject leader of art, said: “We are very proud of our Year 13 BTEC art and design students who were winners of Ashford Indoor Bowls Centre’s competition to design and paint an outside mural for their newly refurbished building.
“The design is based on the view of Ashford from nearby Wye Downs.
“Students and teachers began the mural last weekend and will complete the large-scale painting by the end of this week.
Mr Hurran said: “We started this last year and one of the overall criticisms was that the schools wouldn’t be able to fit it in.
“So we extended it and gave them all more time.
“We offered to pay for all the materials and we invited 11 schools and only four responded.
“I was amazed by the lack of interest shown, this is an opportunity for those who want to go into the commercial world of art.
“All of the schools said that the pressure was so great with exams that they didn’t think they would have time.”
Students and Staff from John Wallis school prepare to paint at the Ashford Indoor Bowls Centre. From left teacher Manisha Thurmadoo, students Georgia Bundock and Adam Wilkinson, and teacher Michael Bean