This is the main entrance to the centre from the car park. Our centre is based in leafy Knaresborough and is surrounded by trees and greenery. If you are lucky, you may even see our beautiful blossoms in full bloom.
Our centre has been designed to be fully accessible to all, our pathways and workshops are designed to suit wheelchairs, walkers and any other mobility aids to give full access to all of our Art Makers.
The music room is a fun and informal place where Art Makers of all abilities can come to explore music. Art Makers can enjoy the atmosphere and the company of others, request their favourite songs and sing along, try out new dance moves, Makaton songs and musical stretch exercises which are not only great fun but help to get fit too!
Art Makers can learn old songs, new songs and make up songs which
are sometimes performed to the public so that they can enjoy the thrill of a live performance and help raise funds for the Centre.
All of our workshops have large windows overlooking the centre grounds. This makes the rooms light and airy, whilst also helping Art Makers feel connected to the rest of the centre. Some of the workshops also have artwork displayed in the windows.
Our Pottery workshop is a place for creativity to come to life. Art Makers are encouraged to plan, create and develop their own unique projects with the help of the workshop leader. We have lots of facilities to create wonderful pottery products such as a clay room, kiln and colourful glazes.
Here is Wesley holding his creation for our 'Mythical Beasts' theme. Art Makers draw their designs, make them in clay, then paint their designs with underglaze onto the clay surface. When they have printed their designs onto the clay, the Art Makers then apply glaze to their work and their artwork is then placed inside the kiln.
Art Makers are encouraged to work on their own projects; however, we often have a 'theme' running. Here is Jenna working on a creation for our 'Birds' theme. During the pottery sessions Art Makers enjoy the opportunity to engage with others, helping each of them to learn, improve and develop their communication skills and Makaton signing.
In our Woodwork sessions Art Makers produce a range of garden furniture along with other items such as bee hotels, bird tables, bird boxes and feeders. The garden benches have proved to be popular over the years, often being commissioned by visiting members of the public. Our Art Makers get a great sense of satisfaction selling the products knowing they are making top quality products from scratch which are very sought after.
By using suitable techniques, equipment and a number of homemade jigs, Art Makers are better enabled and more involved in the processes of making. They are able to accurately and safely cut component parts to length, drill holes, countersink, paint and assemble with screws and nuts and bolts rather than use traditional carpentry techniques.
The performing arts is great way to practice lifelong communication skills. Through acting, movement and music we promote physical fitness and mental wellbeing in a fun and engaging way. Art Makers use Makaton sign language in every session and our workshops are accessible to a wide range of participants. We pride ourselves on both exercising and engaging the imagination for everyone in our group. Our acting sessions improve skills in speaking and listening, our movement sessions help with coordination and physical fitness.
Each year we produce performances where we invite group members to perform at the arts centre to invited audiences. These performances can take the form of simple outdoor story telling sessions in our gardens during the summer, life skill drama workshops and even a yearly original pantomime.
During the summer months we often have outdoor events such as a beach party and beer festival where many Art Makers and other musicians/artists put on performances from the stage area.
* Performances and events are currently put on hold due to the pandemic.
Our Jewellery workshop is inclusive for all Art Makers no matter what capabilities they may have. As well as traditional jewellery making, we focus on sculptural work where Art Makers are involved in individual and group projects. Many Art Makers find the process of jewellery making very therapeutic and it can help with fine motor skills due to the small parts.
Products Art Makers have produced include wire sculptured birds, hearts, stars, and flowers. Art Makers have previously been involved in a Remembrance Day installation, complete with wire poppies exhibited at a local church.
Our Print workshop runs in the same room as the mosaic workshop on a Monday and Tuesday. Art makers are encouraged to work on individual projects but often have a connecting theme. Art Makers create their own designs based on pictures and ideas and then the workshop leader helps them take these into print – mainly linocut and silkscreen. Art Makers print on a variety of items including tea towels, tote bags, bunting, greetings cards, coasters, t shirts and wrapping paper.
Currently Art Makers have been working on making products for our gift shop and for the Mercer Gallery, who have put in an order for greetings cards, tea towels and tote bags. They are printing designs based on animals, rainbow and flowers. Art Makers are also working on a Mythical Beast theme, and prints made on this theme are going in an online exhibition run by Hart Club, a London based gallery which promotes art made by people with a disability.
The Mosaic workshop runs from Wednesday to Friday in the same room as Print Making. Art Makers can draw, paint and make mosaics on a large and small scale. Drawing is really important, and Art Makers are encouraged to work from their own designs where possible. Aided by the workshop leader, the designs are transferred to plywood which is then cut out to be used as a strong base for the mosaic tiles. In this workshop Art Makers can also upcycle small pieces of furniture or objects with mosaic, produce ‘make your own’ packs, and work on larger outside mosaics for art trails and gardens.
Art Makers fill in their designs with pre-cut mosaic tiles or tesserae, sticking these down with frost proof PVA glue. When completely dry the mosaics are grouted, cleaned and finished ready for exhibition or sale. Art Makers can take part in all parts of the process or just the parts they are able to do. Where needed the workshop leader, volunteers and enablers finish the works ready for presentation.
Art Makers work with paper and paste making lots of paper mache creations big and small. The work produced can often follow a theme like Animals, a favourite book or story and work can also reflect a particular interest of the individual. Art Makers often make papier mache sculptures, bowls, mirrors, boxes, plates, badges and even upcycle old furniture. Some of the techniques used are paper pulping, paper making, paper quilling and decoupage.
Paper workshop Art Makers are working on a Mythical creature and Folklore project at the moment in collaboration with the Hart Club who are based in London. They are holding an online exhibition and Art Makers are busy making and preparing beasts and creatures to submit into the exhibition. At present some beautiful unicorns and basilisks and dragons are being made.
Art Makers have also worked in partnership with the Mercer gallery to create the very successful 2019 Animal invasion at Knaresborough Castle which then went on to tour in Harrogate at Barclays Bank. Art Makers loved making and building the animals to go on display in the exhibition.
Green fingered Art Makers can take part in our Horticulture sessions. Our workshop leader helps Art Makers to learn about planting and gardening maintenance as well as various plants, fruits and vegetables.
Our kitchen garden helps Art Makers to learn how to grow food and the benefits of healthy eating. Art Makers are encouraged to take part in as many tasks as they like such as planting and digging. Many of our fruits and vegetables are used to make tasty nutritious meals in our cafe.
From May 17th Art Maker lunches will be available. The cost will be £5 per lunch which will include a choice of a daily hot main course, jacket potatoes with various fillings, sandwiches with various fillings along with a dessert and a cold or hot drink. Lunches can be paid for by cash, or if funded by a local authority invoices are sent monthly.
Our woodland walk offers Art Makers a chance to connect with nature. All of the paths are fully wheelchair accessible and so the woodlands can be used by all. It features many sculptures and flowers for our Art Makers to enjoy.
Our Chill Out Hut can be found nestled away in our woodland garden. Art Makers can use this space to have a bit of a rest from everyone and listen to the birds, or can meet with other Art Makers to have a chat and relax.
Our gift shop features many products all hand made by our Art Makers. All money raised from selling the products goes straight back into the centre. The shop is currently closed to the general public, however we sometimes have a ‘pop up shop’ just outside the centre set up for anyone walking past.
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