What has Ilkley Arts been up to during the pandemic?

We have continued to explore how we support artists to develop their practice and to help the wider community to enjoy and access the visual arts.

To this end the Ilkley Arts bursary scheme was launched and in March 2021 6 awards to projects were announced. The successful applications covered research into art education, development of textiles in a fine art context, creation of new young persons’ metal art courses, looking at how best to market art exhibitions, an exploration of music, balance and listening and the final project is to explore correspondence practice as a form of conversational art.

‘We were so impressed by the range and quality of the submissions Ilkley Arts received and we are hoping that a number of the bursaries will lead to exhibitions that everyone will be able to enjoy later in 2021 and 2022’ says Jeremy Lewis, Trustee of Ilkley Arts.

We have also launched the Ilkley Arts Young Artist Scholarship scheme where we will select 6 young artists aged from 11 – 18 to spend a year of weekends developing their artistic practice and understanding.

Sarah Gamble from Art School Ilkley describes the scheme. ‘The scholarship programme is a year-long, all expenses paid, supportive experience for six successful students who wish to develop their artistic skills. We are currently in the process of selecting the students from both Ilkley Grammar School and the Beckfoot Academy Trust, Bradford.

The programme will include mentoring, teaching, inspiration and encouragement in exploring and developing the students’ creative skills by supporting the successful candidates own interests within all aspects of Art and Design – Drawing, Painting, Graphic Design, Textiles, Three-Dimensions, Photography. During the year the students will go on gallery visits as well as holding two exhibitions celebrating the students’ achievements. We are really looking forward to having this first group of young artists working within Ilkley Arts.

What is planned for 2021? ‘Ilkley Arts is looking to the future and feel the pandemic and lockdown have given us time to reflect on what we should be doing to deliver our charitable aims’ says Sarah Thomas, chair. ‘We are exploring with our members what they want to see from the organisation and how we could partner differently with a wider range of creative organisations such as Ilkley Literature Festival, The Art Shop in Ilkley and the Manor House as well as widening our audience too. It is an exciting time for us’

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