Art project lands £50,000
A COMMUNITY art studio supporting schools across Lochaber has received a cash windfall of almost £ 50,000.
Room 13 International in Caol was awarded £49,490 from the Big Lottery Young Start Fund to support its new Generation Creative project.
The charity hopes that the money will help extend the project’s reach to children who are not currently able to access the Room 13 facilities.
Fiona Macdonald from Room 13 said: ‘The money gives us stability to keep our contract running for our two artists, which is very important, and allows us to develop what we are doing.’
The Generation Creative project will enable Room 13’s lead artist, Richard Bracken, to work with children and various contributing artists to develop a programme of delivery for primary and high school students.
Ms Macdonald said: ‘We are aware that Room 13 needs to reach further afield, so we want to link up with other schools in outlying areas. We are looking to create relationships with other primary and high schools to make Room 13 accessible to more children to create the next generation of young artists.
‘We will be looking at how we can best reach young people so there is an opportunity for contributors further afield to get involved and join the team.’
During the project, Room 13 will work with 10 primary schools in the Lochaber area to provide opportunities for children to work alongside professional artists on creative projects. They will also develop and extend the youth volunteer group for people aged 13 to 21 to involve students from the four high schools in the area.
Room 13 chief executive Claire Gibb said: ‘The support from Big Lottery provides a welcome boost to the organisation and is a really valuable investment in Lochaber’s Room 13 studios.
‘It will allow us develop key aspects of our work with schools and young people at a time when there is more demand than ever for the sort of services our artists and studios can deliver, with less and less provision to support this work.
‘The Room 13 team is looking forward to getting Generation Creative under way.’
One of the many schools to benefit from the Room 13 facilities is St Columba’s Primary School in Fort William, which shares a campus with Caol Primary School.
Speaking to The Oban
Times, head teacher Violet Smith said: ‘The children work on art projects, philosophy and learn about artists. The kids can also take school pictures, design postcards and put together small publications.’
St Columba’s has worked with the organisation for the past 14 years and Ms Smith said that it is very pupil-led. ‘It’s really good for the children because it increases confidence. They can become committee members and be involved in decision making,’ added Ms Smith.
‘It’s great for kids who are maybe introverted, or who you wouldn’t normally expect to see stand up and talk in front of the class, because once they have been to Room 13 they become more confident in themselves and their class work.’
Fiona Macdonald with Richard Bracken and Gracie Henderson, Robert Gosling, Katie Robertson and Kaci Hatch.