As part of ‘Acomb Art Ambassadors’, funded by City of York Council’s Acomb Ward, Westfield Primary pupil Amanda collaborated with Westfield alumni, Kwaama. The two had a certain synergy which helped get the creative sessions off to an energetic start: both are very sociable people and both are excellent at Manga art. The portal of using historical figures was perfect: Roman soldiers, Viking stall keepers, Tudor Monks were all given the Manga treatment. Amanda, 11, especially liked the preparation part. Says Amanda’s mother, Kayleigh, “Amanda really enjoyed the time she had sharing her anime skills with other amazing young artists from the area. She loved learning new skills from the other children and teaching them a few things as well.” Kwaama worked closely with Amanda, and took the skills she consolidated in their collaboration to New Visuality 5 weekly session residency at Carr Junior School, where approximately 75 pupils received illustrative tutelage from a crack team of young artists exclusively from the West of York. Kwaama worked with a group including Dominic, Carter, Sabs, and Mads, Says Kwaama, “Helping the young people develop their social and art skills at Carr Junior School was a very memorable experience. The children were confident and willing to learn, making it very easy to get to know them and help them to improve their art skills. I will also value the skills they taught me at Carr Junior, including my, to me, surprising ability to teach and work with children!” Carr Junior Year 6 teacher was impressed, “The sessions were lots of fun and allowed children to express themselves whilst developing their creative skills.” Kwaama, Amanda, Dominic, Carter, Sabs and Mads will join more Art Ambassadors from the West of York at New Visuality’s Art Camp sessions in late June. Art Camp will be populated by Art Ambassadors from three schools, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Carr Junior, Westfield Primary, with new younger learners from all schools attending too. The sessions promise to be complementary for all artists involved. Says Dominic, “There aren’t that many arty things to do in the area I live in. This is just good to chill out and share a few art skills with younger people in a really relaxed way.”

New Visuality director Greg McGee says, “Interfusing the good work of all schools was easy once we decided on the theme of ‘Time Travel’ as a concept upon which to build storytelling and Manga illustration. Amanda led in the early discussions, and she does Westfield Primary proud. In many ways, it’s a project designed by young people for young people. The book we’re working on will redefine what Acomb is all about. We are very grateful to Acomb Ward for funding and getting this self-sustaining project off the ground.”

Acomb Time Traveller and Art Ambassadors is ongoing. July 2019

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