‘Art is devalued in schools’ - mother sets up fine art school just outside Norwich

Children learning at the Norwich Art School. Picture: Alyona Hogg

Children learning at the Norwich Art School. Picture: Alyona Hogg - Credit: Archant

A fine art school for children has been set up outside Norwich by a mother fearful the subject is becoming 'devalued' in schools.

Children learning at the Norwich Art School. Picture: Alyona Hogg

Children learning at the Norwich Art School. Picture: Alyona Hogg - Credit: Archant

The Norwich Art School was officially opened earlier this year, to act as 'supplementary education' for creative children, its founder Alyona Hogg says.

The school, which is based at the Reading Rooms in Keswick, sees practicing artists teach small classes of children aged seven to 16 in mediums ranging from painting to pottery.

Mrs Hogg, who lives in Norwich, said the business came in response to growing demand for extra art tuition.

'Art is being so devalued in mainstream schools,' she said, 'and it seemed an obvious thing to do. We had taster sessions last year and a stand at the Forum, and the interest was so huge.'

Children learning at the Norwich Art School. Picture: Alyona Hogg

Children learning at the Norwich Art School. Picture: Alyona Hogg - Credit: Archant


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She said that finding art tuition for her own daughter had further spurred on the plans.

'Art clubs at schools are great, but have very long waiting lists,' she said. 'They only have a few places for each half term, and because schools want to give every child a turn, there's no guaranteed place for the year.

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'I had been looking for an artist to teach my daughter, and it took me a year to find someone.'

Rather than exploring various crafts, Mrs Hogg said the artists focused on fine art, giving children an understanding of aspects including composition, perspective and colours.

'There seems to be a real focus at the moment on very active activities for children,' she said. 'My daughter does fencing, for example - most sports you could think of are now available.

'But there seems to be much less for children just to come, sit down and concentrate on something.'

Courses include six or seven sessions, lasting an hour and a half on weekday evenings, but Mrs Hogg also runs weekend school and lessons during school holidays.

'The main idea of this school is for a child to nurture their creative side throughout their school years,' she said.

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• Do you have an education story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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