The saying goes ‘sharing is caring’ and this couldn’t be more true for Visual Arts learners at Cheshire College who, in their latest project, are reaching out to local communities through their art to make supportive connections during these difficult times.
The College’s ‘Create, Share, Collect’ project has recently seen postcards of learners’ artwork based on local architecture sent to care homes in the area alongside personalised messages from those who created them.
Inspired by the likes of Chester Cathedral and St John the Baptist’s Church, learners began working on the project in December 2020 using a range of block printing and illustration techniques, before digital copies were made to be printed onto postcards which were sent out earlier this month.
This stage of the project is particularly timely as today marks Random Acts of Kindness Day, where the world comes together to celebrate kindness and how even the smallest act can change a life and make a difference.
Ian Prewitt, Creative Arts Lecturer who has been overseeing the project, said: “Launching the Create, Share, Collect project has been a fantastic way for learners to develop their creativity and share their art in a meaningful way with the community they’re drawing their inspiration from.
“We launched a similar project called ‘Reach Out’ during the country’s first lockdown last summer where learners created artwork on what reaching out meant to them and then shared this with their College friends. The project was really successful and so we wanted to progress it to reach out beyond College and create an interaction with those in the community, especially whilst we’re unable to go out and share learners’ work with them physically.”
Emphasising kindness, honesty and integrity within their core values which guide the way they work with one another and their partners, Cheshire College always strive to make positive contributions to society as a whole, as well as within the communities in which their Campuses are based.
Despite England’s third lockdown, which was introduced at the start of the new academic term, the College’s number one priority continues to be the safety of learners and staff, and they have introduced a number of initiatives to support their physical and mental wellbeing during this time, ensuring first and foremost people are kind to themselves.
Personal Development Tutor at the College Vicky Hewitt, who is also a Master Practitioner of Mindfulness, Mental Health First Aider and holds professional diplomas in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Anger Management Counselling, Psychotherapy, Stress and Anxiety, has created a secure virtual space for both learners and staff to access.
Giving both learners and staff a free space to unwind, the space which is aptly named ‘Me, Myself and I’ includes videos from Vicky herself on topics such as Mindfulness, how to cope during lockdown and strategies for working from home.
To learn more about studying at Cheshire College – South & West visit ccsw.ac.uk and register for the College’s next Virtual Open Day which will be taking place on Monday 8 March. Attendees will be able to chat to subject specialists, find out more about courses and facilities, get guidance on applications, funding and travel, as well as take part in a live question and answer session designed to give a flavour of College life… there has never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’.