Open Arts

Positive Mental Health through Art

Open Arts is a community arts project for people who have had experience of mental health problems, and also those at risk including carers, and would like to engage into the community by making artwork within a group setting. The project runs 12 week courses offering an opportunity to learn new art skills and techniques within a safe and supportive environment. No art experience is necessary, but if participants have experience in art the artists offer support to develop skill and interest, and people can work at their own pace. Groups are run in community based venues, and people can be referred by a mental health professional, or they can self refer. Open Arts aims to offer people opportunity to move forward as part of society, challenging the stigma of mental health, with people from all different backgrounds working together with a common interest in art.

Open Arts aims to offer opportunities to participants over and above the structured courses, including gallery visits and the chance to exhibit artwork, to encourage participation in the widest sense. On completion of their 12 week arts course, participants are offered a day a week at the Open Arts Studio at Hadleigh Old Fire Station House, to enable them further time and space to develop their artwork and studio practice. The studio promotes independent art making, networking and longer term support, with 6 month placements being offered to studio members. Participants are also signposted on to other opportunities such as further learning and volunteer opportunities.

Visual arts course example: Courses vary depending on the artist tutors and group interest. We also welcome those with interests in other art forms including creative writing and drama.

Week 1 – Mark Making – Using graphite, charcoal, pencils and various surfaces
Week 2 – Observational drawing techniques
Week 3 – Soft pastel and Oil pastel techniques
Week 4 – Watercolour and Aquarelles
Week 5 – Mixed media – including Pen and Ink and Acrylics
Week 6 – Printmaking
Week 7 – Gallery visit
Week 8 – Silk painting and Batik techniques
Week 9–10 3D Art including plaster and mod roc
Week 11-12 – Composition time and finishing off

How to contact service

Open Arts
The Art House
next to Hadleigh Old Fire Station
19 High Street
Essex SS7 2PA

Tel: 07903 188673 or 07580 982462

Open Arts website

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