Week 2 – Curation Challenge!

What kinds of things do we see when we look at art? What happens when we look for longer? When we curate, what connections do we want to invite our audience to make? The teams looked at works in the collection to practice analysing, interpreting and sharing opinions.

Next it was time to apply those skills to a curation challenge: could the teams select artworks which would work well together? What characteristics would they choose to look for?

How would they help their audience see connections between the works?

And how would they display the works in a given space?

The teams worked really well together, solving problems, presenting their work to the other groups, and giving constructive feedback. A great start to the course.

Welcoming the 2019 Young Curators

We had an excellent time interviewing young people for the 2019-20 Young Curators programme. Every young person we met was full of creativity- we really wished we could select everybody. We also met with some of Harlow’s fantastic art teachers and careers staff, and the excellent team at Rainbow Services, all of whom helped us recruit our new team.

Week 1 is always about getting to know each other. Our first icebreaker created a web of connections: how many interests do we share?

We also ask each person to choose a work from the collection and two words to capture how they are feeling- it’s always interesting to compare with two new words at the end of the project.



Now Recruiting!

We are looking for young people to join the Young Curators programme in the new term. Are you aged 13- 19? Would you like to meet other young people with creative interests, work with artists and creative professionals,  and develop ambitious exhibitions in professional venues? Would you like to gain Silver Arts Award, a Level 2 qualification (equivalent to GCSE level) by collecting evidence of the activities you do?

We welcome young people from all backgrounds, and taking part in the programme is free of charge. Please help us spread the word!

Illusions Exhibition – Week 2

Along side the planning and preparation for the exhibition, we took the opportunity to try out ideas in the gallery space, and practice some practical curation skills with a 15 minute team ‘picture challenge’:

Meanwhile, there was an opportunity to catch up on some of the evidence collecting for Silver Arts Award.

Week 9 – Talking Points workshop with Jack Cornell (and Nicola)

This week the group had a taster session introducing an opportunity to get involved in a wider project:

‘Talking Points is a participatory youth arts project led by artists Jack Cornell and Nicola Hutchison. The project is a place-based artist commission from Essex Cultural Diversity Project. The artists are using the commission to work with young people in Harlow, giving participants a voice and platform to explore diversity issues that are important to them. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn new arts skills on the way. It is a collaborative project in which young people will be allowed to take the lead. Groups involved include Livewire, Young Curators, and Integration Support Services, with support from The Gibberd Gallery and Harlow Playhouse.’

We started with a challenge around building load-bearing structures with limited materials.

And then moved on to some work with resistant materials and tools.

The project will continue over half term, finishing with an event in The Harvey Centre on Saturday 23rd February 2019. Look out for pop-up performances involving drama, humour, sculpture and dance. The project will be exploring issues of conflict between minorities/majorities- who has the power and how does this shape our stories?

Week 8 – Evaluating the first show

An excellent first exhibition, but still lots to reflect on and learn for next time. Here are some of the things the public liked about the exhibition:

‘I liked the welcome. I also liked the variations of artwork’

‘The space and work has been considered and is effective. Love the use of space!’

‘The people talking to us are brilliant- wish I could do that.’

‘The range of different styles- all fantastically executed and lovely to see they started as young curators’

People also responded that the exhbition made them feel:

Calm; stunned; wowed; inspired; thoughtful; intrigued; joyous; interested; enlivened; excited; happy; amazed; entertained; encouraged to want to draw; impressed with the skills; and hopeful for the future of the arts.

What great evidence of the fantastic contribution the young people of Harlow make to their community!

Visitors arrive at the opening event (spot the comments box on the left!)


Week 7 – Opening the exhibition!

Curating Harlow is now open at Harlow Playhouse!

The team planned and hosted an opening event attended by around 50 guests. Many thanks to the Harlow Playhouse team for making us so welcome.

The Young curators did an exceptional job of planning and hosting- everyone contributed to the team effort and the event ran without a hitch. The exhibition itself received much praise, not least from the artists who had contributed their work and were pleased to see it carefully and thoughtfully displayed. Huge congratulations and thanks to the young people and to everyone involved.

Many thanks to everyone who attended the opening. If you weren’t able to attend,  please pop in any time during Harlow Playhouse open hours and see the exhibition- further info on the event page. Remember to let the Young Curators know your thoughts by leaving a comment in the comments box!