Fresh Art@ B&NES is an innovative project harnesses the power of creativity to make a real difference to the lives of people who have been experiencing mental health challenges and social isolation. The project is a partnership between Creativity Works, AWP (Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust), Bath Museums Partnership and Virgin Care.
Fresh Art@ gives participants a unique opportunity to explore their creativity, improve wellbeing and increase independence and community. The Fresh Art@ participants meet for 2 hours each week in museums around Bath during the 12 week course to create artwork inspired by the museum collections. They receive a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm from experienced museum staff, as well as guidance and support from a socially engaged artist and other passionate members of the Fresh Art@ team throughout.
Being able to come together as a group in a safe, supportive and inspirational environment enables participants to express themselves, develop meaningful relationships with one another and explore creative processes. At the end of the project, the Fresh Art@ participants donate some carefully selected pieces to be framed and exhibited in a public exhibition, which is displayed as part of the Bath Fringe Festival. The artwork then takes its proud place as part of the Fresh Art@ collection, which is rotated around and displayed in the otherwise clinical NHS environments, enlivening the space and allowing participants to give something back.
Everyone involved in Fresh Art@ believes that creativity can make a significant difference to people’s lives by inspiring and supporting them to have fun & be creative, learn new transferrable skills, improve health and wellbeing and connect with their surroundings.
Who is involved? The Fresh Art@ Partners:
Participants – Fresh Art@ works closely with AWP to take referrals from professionals working with individuals who could benefit from creative community engagement. Participants can also self-refer on to the project, which is open to anyone who has been experiencing mental health challenges and would like the opportunity to learn creative skills, socialise and make new friends.
Creativity Works – We are a creative charity specialising in delivering outstanding creative projects with communities. Creativity Works’ expertise makes running the Fresh Art@ project possible and connects individuals with artists, volunteers, groups, activities and their local area.
AWP (Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust) – Many of the participants are users of AWP mental health services and feel empowered to ‘give something back’ by donating their artwork to AWP environments at the end of the project. AWP hosts some of the Fresh Art@ collection, which is on rotation around the hospitals and AWP NHS sites.
Bath Museums (No.1 Royal Crescent, The Holburne Museum, The American Museum) – The museums offer participants the opportunity to connect with their local Heritage and cultural community through the rich history of the collections. Drawing on the wealth of knowledge held by the museums and their staff, inspiration for the Fresh Art@ starts here.
Community Artist – The sessions are directed by a local socially engaged artist, providing quality art materials and expert guidance. This inspires participants to learn, develop and grow their artistic practice.
Support Worker – Fresh Art@ is supported by a support worker. This enables participants to feel safe and supported during the sessions and makes it accessible to individuals who may otherwise feel unable to attend due worries about managing their mental health.
Volunteer – A previous participant is offered the opportunity to join the team the following year as a volunteer, bringing their experience and giving valuable insight. The volunteer is able to work alongside the participants and offer their knowledge and support throughout the project.
Virgin Care – Virgin Care supports Creativity Works to deliver the Fresh Art@ project and associated projects within the community.
National Lottery Community Fund support the Museums participation in Fresh Art@
Read all about the 2018 Fresh Art@ project here: Fresh Art@ in Review 2018
[Collaborative Quilts created by Fresh Art@ participants and led by Artist Barbara Disney ]