Cranleigh Decorative
& Fine Arts Society

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Young Arts 2014

The Young Arts Team believes that encouraging young people to participate in high quality artistic projects should be as much about fun as it is about achievement.  Some youngsters already have a well-developed natural ability and we want to nurture those who have.  For others, we help to provide opportunities for them to discover the pleasure and excitement of engaging with the arts and, we hope, to unlock their innate creativity.

Over the years we have worked with children and teenagers throughout the local area, as well as with local schools and youth groups.  2014 was no exception.  Throughout the year, our society is proud to have sponsored art-based activities for well over 200 children. So, here's our Young Arts news!

"Spartacus" comes to
St. Joseph's Specialist School and College

Our long-standing relationship with St. Joseph's Specialist School and College is very important to us.  We greatly admire the dedication of its staff.  There's always a buzz of creative activity in the art department - and plenty to show for it.  Cranleigh DFAS donations recently facilitated the making of the life-sized deer, now stalking the nature trail in the school's grounds.  The learners were greatly involved in fashioning the metal components and it was they who chose his name - Spartacus!

Further funding contributed to other activities at St. Joseph's, such as this graffiti wall of saints.  Again that creative buzz went into action, when learners had great fun helping to transform the


Wall of Saints at St. Joseph's

dull, old brick wall overlooking the art room into a spray-painted skyscape.  It made a fitting backdrop for the graffiti saints, after whom the school's houses are named.

We returned to Wey House School, too, in 2014, where the outdoor classroom was progressing well.  The boys had really enjoyed the metalwork sessions Cranleigh DFAS had funded the previous year, when they helped to produce a really magnificent heron to "fish" in one of the ponds.  They were keen to make more creatures to inhabit the natural setting and decided that rabbits were just what was needed.


Under the sculptor's guidance, a rabbit family was created - each "bunny" in a different pose - and all cut, beaten and filed by the boys.

Rabbit Family at Wey House

Rabbit munching on a carrot before hopping off into the "outdoor classroom" at Wey House School


The Young Arts Team's major project for 2014 was undoubtedly the repeat of Year Five Face Fun.  It had proved so successful in 2013 that Cranleigh's three state primary schools asked us to run it again.  We were happy to do so, because all the children involved had really enjoyed it and produced some excellent self portraits.

The Year Five classes of 2014 clearly loved it just as much, producing their own self portraits, during lesson time, with the aid of our packs which included materials, instructions and information on self portraits by famous artists.

Cranleigh DFAS was proud to fully fund this project in which 143 local children took part.  The schools entered into the activity with great enthusiasm.  It was popular with the local community as well, when all the artwork was exhibited in the Arts Centre for two weeks in November.

Denise Topolski with
Face Fun winner

The exhibition culminated in a prize giving "party", when the children, their families and teachers gathered together in the Arts Centre.  It was a busy, funfilled occasion, when prizes were awarded, goodies were eaten and the press was on hand to record the event.  Speeches were kept to a minimum and Denise Topolski, a NADFAS trustee, made the presentations.  On parting each child received a book of all 143 self portraits as a memento.  It really was a memorable and fitting end to our Young Arts year.

The prize winners with Jan and Pat,
Denise Topolski and John Baker

Of course, none of our work would be possible without the generosity of our membership and committee and for that we are very grateful.  Above all we would like to highlight the support given by our retiring chairman, John Baker, who has been the driving force behind all our society's Young Arts achievements.

The Young Arts Team:

Pat Morgan and Jan Fricker

Wendy Brownlee and Sue Pescodd
Volunteer Helpers