1. Royal Academy of Arts Family Sessions
The Royal Academy is celebrating its 250th Anniversary this Summer, and as such is putting on a whole host of free family workshops to enjoy! Here are just some of the tempting events on offer:-
- Sun, 1st July – Family studio: forest in the sky – Come and draw bending branches and twisted trunks to create your own natural world. Then, form your own canopy by creating cloud sculptures that float up to the sky. Weather permitting, there will be a cyanotype workshop outside in the courtyard. 11am to 3pm.
- Sun, 22nd July – Escape into landscapes (Family workshop for children with SEND) – Create your own sensory scenery in this workshop led by professional artist educator Cash Aspeek. Immerse yourself in Tacita Dean’s world of fluffy clouds, rough and rocky mountains and rustling leaves as we admire her landscapes, then create our own artworks in response. 11am to 1pm.
- Thurs, 26th July – Family studio: reconstructing the collection – Recreate your way through some famous works to make them your own, using pens and paint. Transform a Turner, collage a Constable or highlight a Hockney! 11am to 3pm.
- Mon, 30th July – Exhibition expeditions: early-morning family workshops in the galleries (Family workshop for children with SEND) – Join the RA for a multisensory and interactive family exploration around the Tacita Dean: ‘LANDSCAPE’ exhibition before the galleries open to the public. 9am to 10am.
3. London Art College – Children’s Online Art Course
London Art College are currently running a Drawing for Children Online Art Course 1 (YA1) (age 7+). With a guaranteed-professional art tutor who has years of experience in working with children, your child can follow an illustrated, step-by-step guide to basic drawing techniques. The course gives the opportunity for learners to embrace the understanding of form, shade and composition years before they attend Key Stage 3, providing a huge boost to their creative skills. (See details at www.londonartcollege.co.uk).
4. Kids’ Interiors – Superheroes
What with all the current Marvel and Comic Con mania in the world’s media, Art Today decided to investigate the superhero theme for our Kids’ Interiors segment. Our go-to site Etsy yielded these beauties designed by SilverlightningCo. The company have received rave reviews for their quality, handmade goodies. Get them here: https://etsy.me/2JOLv1J.
5. July Art Activity – Mermaid Slime
[WARNING! This activity recipe contains clear glue and contact lense solution! As such, this activity has an age 10+ and under-adult-supervision-only recommendation.].
6. Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Cinderella Auditions
Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre will commence juvenile auditions for its Christmas Panto on 1st July! The theatre are looking for 3 teams of eight girls for the juvenile chorus, stating that applicants must be:-
No taller than 4’6″, under 13 years of age, have good dance and singing ability, and should wear appropriate dance attire.
(See details at www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk)
7. 5 minutes with… Debi Gliori!
Debi Gliori is a children’s author/illustrator of immense talent, currently living in Scotland. Her beautiful and atmospheric illustrations have graced children’s picture books and storybooks for decades. She was the first Shetland Islands’ Children’s Writer In Residence, and has been shortlisted for the Greenaway Award (twice), along with the Scottish Arts Council Award. She published her first book in 1990, and has lost count of the number of books published since then.
We spent 5 minutes with her to ask what inspired her to choose art as a career, and for any tips she may have for budding artists…
What inspired you to become an artist? I went to painting classes at Glasgow School of Art (The Mack) as a child on Saturday morning, and the smell of linseed oil and the gritty charcoal dust got under my skin. I felt I’d come home.
What do you like about your chosen genre? It allows me to paint 15 linked paintings and have them widely and cheaply sold for anyone to enjoy. Unlike one-off paintings.
Where do you get inspiration for your characters from? From my own children and from my imagination.
Who is your favourite artist? Tove Jansson.
Where did you train? Edinburgh College of Art.
Which is your most popular character? Small from No Matter What.
What’s your favourite motivational motto? Only connect.
What would you say to an aspiring artist? Never give up. Dig deeper.
What are your favourite artistic materials? Charcoal. Watercolour paints.
Who is your favourite supplier of artistic materials? Shop: Greyfriars in Edinburgh. Maker of paints: Winsor & Newton. Paper: Fabriano.
Of her newest publication: All The Way Home, Debi’s publishers (Bloomsbury) reveal:-
‘Daddy Penguin has to look after the egg while Mummy is finding fish. But he wanders away from the Dad Huddle and he and the egg are whisked up into the air by a gust of wind, landing in the Arctic. Brave Daddy must find out where he is and how to get home. But the Arctic creatures aren’t that friendly and he stumbles along in the cold, lost … until he bumps into a reindeer, who takes them to breakfast with the Special Air Navigation Transport Authority – Can brave Daddy Penguin and his new little one get all the way home before Mummy returns? If only penguins could fly…’.
8. Design Favourite – Preemie Couture
The subject of premature babies sits close to Art Today’s heart. When we caught up with Preemie Couture fashion designer – Merete Östmann – on social media, we just had to share her work in our magazine!
Merete is one of those kind and honourable souls who donate their pieces to hospitals for free. As a parent, when you are in the unexpected and traumatic position of your pre-term baby being treated in emergency intensive care, having someone on hand to provide especially-tailored clothes, sleepwear or blankets can be immensely helpful. Most shops – whether high street or online – sell an extremely limited stock for this age group, and with babies being born earlier and earlier these days, they can be resident in intensive care for extended periods.
Merete’s designs go above and beyond necessity. They are carefully and sensitively produced, funky, fashionable and cute outfits that go that extra mile. If you know of someone who is in the throes of this difficult and emotional time, try contacting Merete to commission a one-off outfit for their baby. They will love you for it!
9. Family Festival – Camp Bestival (26-29th July, Lulworth)
According to festival organisers, kids are king at Camp Bestival! They have a plethora of activities billed for kids of all ages. From The World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle to an Insect Circus, from Rob da Bank’s Music Club to a dedicated teen zone for 13-17 year-olds – Bestival has it all. This is one of those festivals that really goes that extra mile for families – even featuring Mr Tumble! Get down to its beautiful Dorset-coast location (Lulworth Castle) this month for a truly energising experience! (See our upcoming, pre-event feature article for more details…).
[Credits: Feature image – Yaoyao c.2017 (pinterest.com); etsy.com; londonartcollege.co.uk; Facebook – merete_syr; Instagram – @merete_syr; vans.com; royalacademy.org.uk; fanpop.com; festicket.com; campbestival.net/kids; debiglioribooks.com; Debi Gliori PR at Bloomsbury]