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Saturday Club is a work of art

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UCLan’s free weekly art class for young people is an instant hit

Creative youngsters are getting their paint brushes out for a new free weekly art club run by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

UCLan’s Art and Design Saturday Club began this week with the first term already booked out. Running every week until Easter, the weekly class has been set up for 13-16 year-olds in the area who are keen to develop their artistic skills, including drawing, painting and sculpting. It is the only free club of its kind in Lancashire.

The Club is part of the National Saturday Club initiative, which was established four years ago to give young teenagers a taste of what it would be like to study art after leaving school. Last year more than 1,250 young people across the UK took part in a local Saturday Club, which also allows students to build up a portfolio without the pressure of assessment and provides them with access to studio facilities they wouldn’t normally have.

The UCLan Club will also take part in two national events; a masterclass with an industry professional and the Summer Show, where all Club members from around the country exhibit their work at Somerset House in London.

UCLan fine art lecturer Jayne Simpson and Andrew McDonald, a senior lecturer in 3D Media Fine Art, are leading the UCLan sessions.

It’s great to have the time to focus on being creative. I think this is a fantastic initiative that will give lots of young people a chance to get really involved in art, especially as it’s free.

Andrew said: “It’s been an instant hit with places being filled almost as soon as the Club was announced. It’s like a mini art school and everything we produce will go to the National Saturday Club summer show in London. The young people will be able to try their hands at ceramics, painting, sculpting and drawing, amongst other things. Creative industries are an essential part of the UK economy and through the Saturday Club, we’re taking the excellent work schools already do and building on it to harness the talents of the next generation.”

Students from Corpus Christie Catholic High School have already been into the University for a Saturday Club taster session. Zahra Abbas,15, said: “It’s great to have the time to focus on being creative. I think this is a fantastic initiative that will give lots of young people a chance to get really involved in art, especially as it’s free. It restores art as a necessity rather than a luxury.”

Although the UCLan Saturday Club is currently full, young people who are interested in joining next term can complete a questionnaire to register their interest. Each session takes place from 9.45am – 12.15pm every Saturday morning in UCLan’s Hanover Building on Bhailok Street.

For more information, visit the UCLan Saturday Club website. The National Saturday Club website also provides information about the initiative.

Lyndsey Boardman | 21 January 2019