Like it was made yesterday - Inside out art activity day at Oswestry Library. Soon to be a regular event?

Like it was made yesterday – Inside out art activity day at Oswestry Library. Soon to be a regular event?

Another great art activity day at Oswestry Library timed to coincide with Apple Day on the Bailey Head and the culmination of this year’s “Oswestry Makes” festival.

Well-supplied with almost twenty kilos of scrap fabric (courtesy of Inside Out’s favourite mystery artist) Sue Mann, Freja and myself set up two tables at the front of the library and spent four enjoyable hours creating. We had a steady stream of kids through the morning, making costumes with Freja, sewing apples with Sue, and making rag plaits with me. By the end of the afternoon we’d turned out waistcoats and wizard capes, two branches worth of fabric apples (now hanging up by the Poe-tree display) and ten metres of rag plait!

Outreach is an important part of what it means to be an artist. Locking oneself and ones creativity away can end up being a bit selfish. It’s important to recognise that if we want to be part of the community at large, we have to get out into that community sometimes. Galleries and open studios and exhibitions are all very well, but these venues can still be very intimidating and alien spaces to some people, despite the best intentions of artists. The “outside” part of Inside Out is about getting art (and artists) “out there” – getting art in shops, like our Mind, Body & Spirit exhibition; or outside shops, like Marja’s and Jim’s murals; or above shops – like Jas‘ sculptures; in places like pubs – like Geoff’s digital photo exhibition in The Griffin; or in the library – like our Art and the Word exhibition for National Libraries Day.

This was only our second time doing an activity day like this in the library, so we’re still learning – learning how to best set up and publicise the events, how to organise them and structure them, and what sort of materials and activities work best. I’m now putting a lot of this garnered wisdom together and will be liaising with Debbie at the Library to organise these activity days into a regular, possibly monthly event – and you’re all welcome to get involved! Of course, not all of us are cut out to be teachers, but in a group it’s easy to take part at your own pace and in your own way. And what’s great about having different artists get involved is that each brings their own, unique take to the activity.

So I’ll be posting more information about this new “Make and Do” project soon. In the meantime, anyone interested in getting involved should get in touch!

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