Launch of Young Artists programme in Norwich

March 3, 2017

In September last year, the Royal Drawing School expanded its Young Artists programme, with new venues in London, and further afield in the cities of Norwich, Glasgow and Oxford.

The Young Artists programme offers a unique opportunity to students from all backgrounds, who want to develop their drawing skills. Students aged 10 to 14 with an interest and aptitude for drawing can join our weekly Drawing Clubs; while the Young Associates programme is for students aged 15 to 18 looking to continue their creative studies.

In this blog, Royal Drawing School Tutor and Alumnus Doug Farthing tells us what it’s been like launching the new studios in Norwich, and how the Drawing Club for 10-14 year olds is progressing.

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Drawing studio in Lion House, St. George’s Works

Norwich has a creative and vibrant artistic community and the Drawing Club studios are centrally located in the Duke Street area, based in Lion House, in the St Mary’s Works and St George’s Works site – two former shoe factories that will be developed over the next ten years. The School is one of several creative and artistic groups who have been given space to work there.

The project began last summer with a meeting at what is now our new home. The positivity and encouragement from those helping to develop it has been a great support.

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View from the studio

The first term began in September last year with a visit by Wally Webb, from BBC Radio Norfolk’s Saturday Breakfast Show. The interview kick-started our first session: an introduction to drawing materials, how to make iron gall ink, and drawing from a clothed life model. The remainder of the term focused on discovering the space we occupy, by looking and drawing from the industrial structures surrounding our studio.

One of the highlights of the term was visiting Mandell’s Gallery on Elm Hill: the Young Artists drew from the private collection of artworks by the Norwich School of Painters. It was inspiring to see students connecting and responding to the draftsmanship of the 19th Century Norwich School. 

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Drawing in Mandell’s Gallery

Our Club continues to grow with a cohort of talented young artists. In Spring Term we are focusing on relationships between mankind and animals, and how artists have responded historically to this theme. A visit to The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, with drawing from the exhibits followed by monotype printing, produced some outstanding results. The students continue to progress and grow in confidence, producing quality work for their portfolios.

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Drop-in portraiture workshop at The Forum for Makers Month

The Norwich art scene is flourishing, and we have been absorbed into this historic city. Last week we participated in Makers Month at The Forum, holding a drop-in class for young artists to draw portraits of each other on acetate sheets. We look forward to the Summer Term, and drawing from the Paul Nash exhibition at the SCVA.

Summer Term of the Norwich Drawing Club for 10-14 year olds runs 29 April – 1 July 2017, Saturdays (11am-1pm) at Lion House, Muspole Street. Visit www.royaldrawingschool.org/young-artists for details