The Leeds Arts Party

04 June 2015

On May 9th, Leeds College of Art was taken over by The Leeds Arts Party! The day long ode to arts education was part of a campaign put together by 3rd year BA (Hons) Visual Communication student, Frances Bailey, along with a group of dedicated volunteers.

The event included guest speakers, curated conversations, two exhibitions, an arts market and lots of engaging workshops.

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Lemn Sissay MBE, kicked off the day with his energetic poetry and talk on the arts.  Lucy Wood from Cape Farewell stopped by to deliver a talk on artists and scientists joining together to think creatively about public problem solving. The final speaker of the day, Susan Coles, had the entire crowd excited about Arts Education.  A prior President of the National Society for Education in Art and Design, she was the perfect person to discuss the future of Arts Education and how it affects us all.

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There were two exhibitions, WITH, the Visual Communication exhibit, as well as an exhibition of sustainable art fittingly called Salvage.  Salvage fit seamlessly into the underlying theme of sustainability throughout the day.  Both exhibitions displayed Leeds College of Art students' work, and a few students sold their work in the arts market.   

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In another room there was a series of curated conversations, including one with BOGSAT, a political group started by Tom Bowes, a 3rd year Interdisciplinary student.  The Director of Woolgather Art, John Slemensek, came to converse on where creativity comes from and Julia Brown, a 3rd year Visual Communication student, spoke with people about the affect of art on those with learning difficulties through her illustration booth.

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The main room for the event was filled with workshops including The Blood Bag Project where craftivism is used to raise awareness about donating blood and the East Street Arts crew who were recycling film negatives to create new works of art.  The people of Tea and Tolerance even dropped by, prompting spontaneous conversations on a wide variety of topics throughout the main workshop area. 

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The event gave the public, students and staff a place to create, to celebrate and to educate.

The Leeds Arts Party showcased the importance of Arts Education, raised awareness about sustainability and brought people from all over the Leeds artistic community together!

Want to know more?  Watch the video below to hear Frances Bailey talk about the project. 

The Leeds Arts Party film by Mary Broome from Leeds College of Art on Vimeo.