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Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education.

We support arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.

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Off the Map: Young People / Artists / Learning

Wednesday 16 November 2016
10.00am - 4.30pm


One Day Seminar/Conference


Free, booking essential


Generation ART and The Gallery, De Montfort University (DMU) present:

Off the Map: Young People / Artists / Learning

Talks, discussions and provocations

Art, craft and design as a subject is under increasing pressure in England. Austerity measures are impacting on the resources schools can offer to support the visual arts on the curriculum and related creative activities. Government education policies are focusing increasingly on maths, English and STEM subjects, with the mistaken assumption that art and design cannot contribute to these. Visits to galleries are diminishing, as are opportunities for children and young people to work directly with professional artists, makers and designers.

For young people and families navigating these waters, the rising costs of student loans raise questions about the value and purpose of pursuing art and design at further and higher education levels, and are also leading young people to question the learning experience on offer against these loans.

The Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour project was developed as a response to these concerns, and the delivery of the project in 2015 and 2016 with venue partners at Turner Contemporary, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Soft Touch Arts and the Spark Arts for Children, Leicester and Quay Arts, Isle of Wight enabled people of all ages and experience to debate these questions.

In partnership with De Montfort University (DMU) Leicester, we are delighted to offer a day of talks, discussions and provocations about visual arts and children and young people, inspired by Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour. The symposium will take place in the context of The Gallery, a spectacular new exhibition space located in DMU’s landmark Vijay Patel building, the cutting-edge new home to the university’s art and design courses.

The day will include an opportunity to visit the inaugural exhibition ‘Urban Studies’ by Simon and Tom Bloor, who will also be discussing their own practice connecting with children and young people and their learning environments. Lunch, refreshments also provided.

Key questions?

The symposium will explore:

• The experience and future potential of exhibiting and touring art created by children and young people

• The potential of art and artists as positive change makers within learning environments

• Young people, visual arts education and visual literacy: the view from both sides

• Possibilities and challenges of working collaboratively Who is it for? Teachers, artists, artist educators, arts, museum and community organisations, local authority officers, students and anyone interested in supporting children and young people to make art and / or develop skills as arts professionals.

Contributors will include:

Simon and Tom Bloor are artists whose works and projects explore the histories and fabric of the built environment and the associated dichotomy of creation through destruction.

Kate Owens, an artist who embeds participatory approaches within her professional arts practice, and was one of the artists leading on the participatory programme alongside Generation ART at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.

Sam Thorne, Director of Nottingham Contemporary, and co-founder in 2013 of Open School East, a free to attend art school in East London.

Dr. Nick Owen, Chief Executive for The Mighty Creatives, awarded an MBE for services to Arts based businesses in 2012, and passionate about generating inspiring and socially engaging cultural education and business both nationally and internationally.

Chair: Jane Sillis, Director of engage, the National Association for Gallery Education and also currently a trustee of the Institute of International Visual Arts. engage is the lead organisation in the UK supporting visual arts education through gallery education.

The Generation ART team: arts professionals and young people involved in delivering the project.

Fee Price: FREE (booking essential) Suitable for: 14+ Ticket required.

To download a booking form click here. 


In January 2016 Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour opened in Leicester; showcasing artwork made by children and young people aged 5 – 18 from across England at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, and Soft Touch Arts.

The second stage of a national tour (Generation ART launched at Turner Contemporary, Margate alongside Grayson Perry’s ‘Provincial Punk’ retrospective show); it inspired a new artist commission led by The Spark Arts for Children, an artist-led education programme at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, and involved young people from Soft Touch Arts as artists, curators, commissioners, communicators, evaluators and workshop leaders. The process and delivery inspired many conversations and debates about visual arts opportunities and education for young people today, influences on authorship of art by young people, and where and how the next generation make art and access learning.

Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme, Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour is completed for 2015 and 2016. We are now reviewing evaluation and planning for the future. This sharing event is part of this process, and will help shape Generation ART in the future.

Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour is supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic touring programme, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Helen Jean Cope Charity. Generation ART is run by engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, working in partnership with Turner Contemporary, Margate, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts, Leicester, Quay Arts, Isle of Wight, The Spark Arts for Children, The Mighty Creatives, Artswork, the Contemporary Visual Arts Network, the National Society for Education in Art and Design and the Expert Subject Advisory Group for Art and Design.



The Gallery, Vijay Patel Building
De Montford University

Booking Info

Booking Deadline: Monday 14 November

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