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Minsthorpe Community College work with artist Alice Withers for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Engagement Project: Minsthorpe Community College & Alice Withers

We have been working with five schools in Leeds and Wakefield on artist-led projects, with school and gallery visits and sculptures from our renowned art collections going into classrooms.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) worked with students and teachers from Minsthorpe Community College and contemporary artist Alice Withers, to explore innovative ways of making and thinking about sculpture, over a period of six months.

Year 10 and Year 12 students were inspired to explore and learn about contemporary sculpture through six practical sessions in school, an exhibition of their final collaborative artwork in a public setting in Wakefield Cathedral and also YSP main visitor centre, they took part in visits to each of the Yorkshire Sculpture International venues, and experiencing the unique opportunity of choosing and hosting a sculpture from YSP’s world-class collection in their own school grounds.

Minsthorpe Community College work with artist Alice Withers for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Minsthorpe Community College work with artist Alice Withers for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Minsthorpe Community College visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park with artist Alice Withers for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Minsthorpe Community College visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park with artist Alice Withers for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Time Will Tell 2019, Alice Withers and Minsthorpe Community College students. Image: Nick Singleton

 

Students learnt about and through art, exploring how to express their ideas and opinions through sculpture making. They participated in a series of six workshop sessions, delivered in school by Yorkshire Sculpture Park and artist Alice Withers. The sessions aimed to explore the artistic process from conception to realisation and experiment with form and materials. The students were also inspired by visiting the vibrant exhibitions at the four major venues exhibiting work for Yorkshire Sculpture International. Students made connections between works on display and their own lives engaging in critical discussion about how the work was relevant to them and their place in the world. Students were encouraged to think of themselves as young artists and make drawings and notes in their sketchbooks.

Participants addressed topics from current affairs that they were passionate about and felt had relevance to their lives: climate crises, teen suicide, mental health issues, immigration and knife crime. The students created visual imagery and sculptural objects that embodied their chosen topic, which were then embedded into wax bricks and assembled into a collaborative artwork. This final mixed media sculpture was presented at the school, in the public realm at Wakefield Cathedral and the YSP main visitor centre, and was also shared widely on YSP social media channels.

“I learned that sculptures can tell a story”

Year 10 student from Minsthorpe Community College

“It’s been an incredible journey and we feel proud and privileged to have been part of such an exciting opportunity.”

Sarah Adams, Assistant Principal, Minsthorpe Community College

About Alice Withers

Our engagement programme

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 had an extensive engagement programme, working with schools, universities, communities and artists.

We explored sculpture with people of all ages, connecting them with the materials and processes used in making sculpture today and showing how sculpture can be found all around us.

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