2018 was the seventh annual edition of this free event, created and hosted by Essex Students
Set within the City centre of Chelmsford, principally in High Chelmer shopping centre, Civic Theatre, Market Square and The Exchange, Showcase allows a free and uniquely accessible opportunity to experience the high quality visual and performing arts from our talented Essex school students. Whilst in central Chelmsford for shopping, business or just lunch, come along and be surprised and impressed.
Visual art was displayed within High Chelmer Shopping Centre on special gallery boards within the West and East Malls, in Central Square and in a pop-up gallery on West Mall. We also arranged live art demonstrations and workshops by students.
In addition, sculptural work was on show within the Civic Theatre Foyer.
Some of the gallery boards this year in High Chelmer, Civic Theatre 3D display, live art & children's workshop
SPECIAL SUSPENDED INSTALLATION PROJECT- ‘FLORA & FAUNA’
This year’s special project is a collaboration, led by Plume, Maldon’s Community Academy, and complemented by banners from students of Brentwood County High School, New Rickstones Academy Witham, Hylands School Chelmsford, William de Ferrers School South Woodham Ferrers and Thriftwood School & College Chelmsford.
● Plume, Maldon’s Community Academy - Kevin Flower, Head of Art
The installation was created in preparation for a new teaching module ‘flora and fauna’. It was inspired by the new Eco garden being created in the Plume Academy and was made by over 600 Lower school students and 100 Primary. The work is a mix of techniques, from the abstract finger paint background to the pointillist animals in a Matisse paper cut out style. The work hangs in an informal composition that allows a multi viewpoint.
● New Rickstones Academy - Kara Morton, Head of Art
Students at New Rickstones Academy from year 7 and 8 enjoyed working on the flora and fauna paintings and the large appliqué Matisse inspired wall hanging. This was an excellent opportunity to work on such a large scale and working as part of a group. All students of all abilities contributed to each piece and were very proud of the final results.
● William de Ferrers School - Connaire Clarke, Art Teacher
Dozens of KS3 William de Ferrers students have over the past few weeks co-operated together to create bold banner designs of excellent quality. The students decided to incorporate their school logo amongst some colourful shapes inspired by late Henri Matisse collages. On the reverse the students have enjoyed painting compositions which closely mirror famous Japanese landscapes. All students that have worked on the designs have thoroughly enjoyed their collaborative effort and have together produced some stunning pieces of art.
● Brentwood County High School - Dawn Brassett, Head of Art
The students who worked on the pieces are in our year 12 class, four students worked on each piece, they researched the theme and created their designs based on the Flora and Fauna Theme. They focused on symbolic flowers In one piece and bold Fauna and bold colour and pattern In the other. Students spent a lot of their study periods coming into art to complete the pieces and we are very proud of their hard work and the wonderful outcomes.
● Hylands School - Helen Fulford, Head of Art
Hylands banners have been a collaborative venture with students from year 7-13 contributing to the design and realisation. Our Enrichment students did some design work from which a composition was developed then created and used stencils on two of the pieces. Yr 12 and 13 had ownership of one banner and the other has seen all years add a little something under staff supervision.
● Thriftwood School & College - Lynn Excell, Senior Learning Mentor and Resident Artist
The large artworks were completed by students from year 10 to year 13. One piece was inspired by Gerhard Richter. The bee piece was inspired by the buzz and teamwork activity at Thriftwood college.
All performances took place in The Exchange.
This is what you may have missed:
- Bishops Stortford High School - Jazz Bands
- Thriftwood School & College - Hip Hop Dance
- Chase High School - Extracts from “High School Musical” Songs, Dance
- Hylands School Music - Choir, Solos, Band, Ukulele Band
Our Generous Sponsors for 2018:High Chelmer; James Hallam Insurance Brokers; Chelmsford City Theatres; BBC Essex; Gepp Solicitors; Chelmsford City Council
Essex Schools Showcase for The Arts - Background
The Showcase gives the opportunity for students’ work to be put before the public, usually for the first time. Students are also encouraged to attend to host the displays and gain from interacting with the viewing public and experiencing students' work from other schools. The general public gets the opportunity to experience the high quality artwork from Essex students which is normally only displayed at school. There is no fixed format and teachers/students are encouraged to develop ideas for inclusion.
The first six years have included painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, textiles, upholstery, woodwork, photography, design, installation, street theatre, dance, big bands, rock bands, ukulele bands, drama, choirs, fine art workshops and demonstrations, live artwork creation, temporary sculpture, video and puppetry.
The event is unfunded, supported entirely by generous sponsorship from local organisations in Chelmsford and by voluntarily donated time. The extra effort contributed by staff at the contributing schools at a very busy time of year is greatly appreciated.
Student Work Experience
Arts students gain work experience in curation, exhibition and invigilation in a gallery context, but Showcase also can provide invaluable experience to students of Business Studies (project management, event planning), and Media (publicity, including local radio experience, planning printed publicity, etc.). Skills developed include teamwork, interpersonal interaction with the public, initiative and flexibility.
If you are associated with an Essex senior school, please consider giving your visual and performing arts students the opportunity to show their work in public in central Chelmsford next July and, possibly, see if any senior students would like to get involved with the organising Work Experience of The Essex Schools Showcase for The Arts 2019.
The event dates are always set to run into the last week of the academic year to ensure plenty of content to show. The event is open to the public during shopping hours at High Chelmer and hosted by students on weekdays between 10:00am and 2:00pm, i.e. within school time.