There are several new artists showing work in our Gallery.
Check them out by clicking here:
And you too could show your work! The aim is to show the amazing breadth and talent of artists in Leeds who are members of Arts & Minds. If you’d like your work to feature, please contact us.
This year the Love Arts Festival wants to make sure volunteers are doing something interesting and creative as part of the festival. A few of us met up at Leeds Town Hall to get some ideas. We decided to keep to the festival theme of JOURNEYS to help guide our discussions.
We cam up with loads of ideas, some of which you can see scrawled on the flipcharts below, but we decided to take the following ones forward:
ST JOHN’S INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION
Love Arts Festival is using an empty shop unit in the St John’s Centre in Leeds city centre. Several group exhibition will be put up but we wanted something interactive for the public to do. So our volunteer team will creative an installation based on the theme of MAPS to encourage the public to think about mental health and do something creative. It could be a MIND-MAP or a TREASURE MAP. Or another type of map… But the public will be able to contribute and the installation will grow over the course of the festival.
We’ve produce a map of the city-centre linking up all the exhibitions. Usually there’s about 10 – 15 shows in town and this will be a map that encourages you to go on an ART HUNT. Along the way there’ll be challenges and things to find. The Love Arts vols will take a jaunt around town to create the ART HUNT. And we’ll print out loads of copies so people can do it on their own, or with their friends and families. And we’ll arrange a special ART HUNT event to do it as part of a group.
There are a few events in the Festival that the public and festival friends will come to – and we want to encourage them to DO SOMETHING! The team had loads of ‘map themed’ ideas. A COMPASS on which you can write on your directions for life; a SUITCASE on which you’d write which bits of baggage you need to deal with; a BOARDING PASS on which you can write your destination – ie where you want to be in life. These will be made and printed around postcard size so they’re easy to transport and display if necessary.
These are the 3 ideas we’re going to focus on. And we need people to help make them happen! Do you want to help create an installation? Make up an Art Hunt? Design an interactive boarding Pass? We’re going to get together to start working things out very soon. There’ll be a team on the installation and a map team taking a walk round town. We’ll meet up later in June. Want to be a part of it? Email Tom at [email protected]
We’ll also need volunteers during the festival in October to help run these project. This could involve talking to people and encouraging them to take part – or you could be part of a team installing exhibitions – or you might want to help invigilate shows. Let us know you’re interested by emailing [email protected]
Meanwhile, take a look at all our ideas! No way we can do them all but it gives us inspiration for the future!
by Tom Bailey.
Network is a dreadful word.
“I like to network.” “Come to our network meeting.” “Let’s set up a network.” I can’t be alone in thinking that the word comes loaded with negativity. It’s management speak. It’s jargon. Someone for whom I have great respect once told me I was “a good networker”. “Rubbish,” I said. “I hate networking.” “But you speak to anyone, you know lots of people.” “Oh, I speak to people. But I hate networking.” The word drips with insincerity. I don’t want to be a smug schmoozer.
I even tried to drop the word “network” from “Arts & Minds Network”. But we’d just had a new logo designed and couldn’t afford to commission another. I suppose I must face facts: Arts & Minds is a network. But all that means is that it’s a collection of people united around a common cause: creativity and mental well-being. Maybe we’re a “community”. That’s almost as bad as “network”.
I don’t mind what a network means. It’s brilliant. You can do loads more when you’re working together, when you know people who have similar interests. I’m no good at working alone; the more the merrier. I’ve really enjoyed running the Love Arts Conversation, a conference-type event that brought lots of people under the same roof to discuss issues, ideas and get inspiration. At the risk of offending you with another annoying word, there was a good energy.
However, it’s not enough to feel all warm and fuzzy for a day once every couple of years. Arts & Minds should be getting people together more often. Giving people the chance to meet each other and perhaps plot the next fantastic art project. Or find out what others are doing and become inspired in their own work. So let’s do something similar to the Love Arts Conversation. Smaller but more frequently. To bring together anyone with an interest in creativity and mental health. To encourage arts organisations and health people to work together. We could call it a “network meeting”.
Ok, so we’re not going to call it that. But what should it be? Who should be there? What should we do? What’s the point? Why bother when Trump’s going to blow us all up anyway? Sorry, ignore that last bit. What I’m trying to say is that we need a bit of help to make this happen. To make it not rubbish. To make it something people want to come to. To be honest, I don’t even know what ‘it’ is.
NB The picture accompanying this article is of two amazing people: Alison McIntyre and Leanne Buchan, at the Love Arts Conversation 2016. They’re having an interesting chat. But are they networking…? Photograph by Mat Dale.
We offer a yearly rolling programme of informal learning by providing short ( 10 Week ) course in a variety of community and city-centre venues. Work work with experienced and qualified artist/tutors, who are used to working across lots of different art and design disciplines with small diverse groups of participants. Courses include: drawing, sculpture, painting, jewellery, ceramics. See Courses Starting Jan 2017-2
Term One 26th September to 9th December
Term Two 16th Jan to 31st March
Term Three 18th April to 30th June
We deliver weekdays and daytime, with one late afternoon to early evening course running at in Term Two ( this may be extended to Term Three).
Where? Citywide and central.
Cost? We have 3 set rates per 10 week term, dependent upon personal circumstances. £60/ £16 / Free
Contact? Please call East St Arts for more information: 0113 262 2233 and ask for Linda.
“this course has been life changing, I felt really isolated before I joined and now I look forward to it each week, it is a life line”
“The tutor makes us feel really comfortable and has encouraged us to try new things with gentle guidance, you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do”
We are a creative mental health service based in Leeds 7 offering a range of classes and activities for the community, users of mental health services and their families. We offer classes on a referral only basis and also open classes available for anyone to join: art and crafts, ceramics, dance and music, and a weekly Craft Cafe session. See our website for current groups
Inkwell is a safe, creative and accessible space where passion and skills entwine, challenging the stigma of mental health and celebrating the diversity of its participants. It seeks to engage, stimulate and absorb all abilities through creative activity. Users develop life skills such as teamwork and problem solving leading to increased confidence and improved wellbeing.
When? Varies depending on group
Where? 31 Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3LW
Contact: Telephone: 0113 3070108 / email: [email protected] / www.inkwellarts.org.uk
“..it’s such a positive place for people who are struggling with their mental health, it helps to build confidence and setting yourself little goals is sometimes better for a person than self-analysis”
“It’s a chance to learn new skills and have the freedom to express yourself. I’ve done a bit of volunteering here too which I’ve really enjoyed”
January is almost over but here at Arts & Minds we’ve been trying to fight the Winter Blues…
We linked up with the redoubtable Helen Hunter Thompson of CGL to support her #30daysofpositivity idea. A brilliant way to brighten the dark days. Find out more here.
One of the many dark days in January was known as “Blue Monday”. So we got a musician to cheer up passengers on the bus. Here’s what we put on our leaflet:
“Today, 16 January 2017, is commonly known as Blue Monday and is often described as “the most depressing day of the year.” For many people, this is when “reality” kicks in after Christmas, the days feel shorter, darker and it can seem like a long time until the lighter summer days. To spread some cheer on this dark day, First Bus Leeds have teamed up with Leeds & York Partnerships Foundation NHS Trust to provide a musical accompaniment to your journey.
However, If you’re living with depression the date is irrelevant. Depression affects people every day, not just on “Blue Monday”. People with depression aren’t just “a bit down” because of the weather or because they’re skint after Christmas. It’s likely that you know someone with a mental health issue. Or you may be affected yourself. Use ‘Blue Monday’ as an excuse to start a conversation about mental health!”
Our musician (“the Captain”) was amazing. Have a look on the BBC Leeds Facebook page.
However, neither of these articles really encapsulate how joyful the experience was. I was accompanying the Captain and saw the reaction up close. We hopped on and off buses, entertained people at bus stops and wandered the streets in search of miserable commuters. The 56 from Headingley was packed
with students trying to record the experience on their phones. Whilst waiting for the 49, the Captain sang ‘Lean On Me’, accompanied by members of the bus queue. Just outside the LGI he serenaded an unborn child whose Mother had just been for a scan. And the Captain was unfazed by any request, even attempting an improvised Elvis/ Grime improvised mash-up. With mixed results. But everywhere we went, there were smiles. Some grumpy faces initially, but the Captain usually won them over. One commuter confided, “you don’t see that sort of thing in Leeds do you? In London, maybe, but not in Leeds.”
So that was Blue Monday.
On Brown Thursday (which is even less of a thing than Blue Monday because I just made it up) we joined Helen and others at the Feel Good Fest. The Corn Exchange was packed with brilliant people, offering ways to help feel better. Loads of treatments (massages, hypnotherapy, reflexology), workshops (from us and Dean), music, yoga, drama, the Human Library…. And it was great. A good turnout of lovely people. Thank Helen for organising it and giving everybody a chance to try something to make them feel a little better on a dark night.
So, some light has been shone in the darkness. Let’s hope we do something similar next January.
We welcome people of all ages, abilities and background providing a fully inclusive craft session. Here at Inkwell we have a warm, friendly and welcoming environment, in fact, everything you need to feel and be inspired! Crafts available to try range from Jewellery Making, Pottery, Sewing, Felting, Card Making, Glass Painting, Batik and much more. Whatever you want to create, we will do our utmost to help.
When: Every Thursday afternoon 2-4pm
Where: Inkwell, 31 Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3LW
Costs: Your entrance fee of just £3.50 will buy you all your materials for the session.
We have a wide range of art and craft materials available to use and you get to take home whatever you make on the day.
Contact: Telephone: 0113 3070108 / email: [email protected]
Inkwell run a range of classes that are open for anyone to join which do not require a referral. Classes and workshops in various visual arts and performance arts are available throughout the week.
Tuesday mornings: Art & Design/ Sewing Group
Tuesday evening: Drumming Class
Wednesday evening: Sewing Circle/ Salsa
Thursday evening: Ceramics
Friday morning: Felting
Saturday: Ceramics/ Visual Arts
Where: Inkwell, 31 Potternewton Lane, LS7 3LW
Contact: See Inkwell’s Website for more details
From Cloth Cat, this course is an introduction to playing the ukulele. This is a fun light-hearted course designed to get complete beginners to music playing familiar songs in a variety of styles. No previous experience needed. The tutor is Jess Bowie.
When: Tuesdays, 7 – 8pm
Where: Bramley Lawn Social Centre, Rossefield Lawn, Bramley, Leeds, LS13 3RU
Costs: £60 / free if you receive means tested benefits
We are a charity based in inner-city Leeds that uses music training to help local people improve the quality of their lives. We help people to gain control over their lives and find avenues into employment by providing the opportunity to learn a variety of skills and to develop their musical talent. By doing this, we also provide a basis for empowerment, confidence building and making music contacts that will become ever more useful as their abilities continue to grow towards their future. We offer a wide range of 11 week music courses in subject such as beginners guitar, ukelele, music production, singing, song-writing, and many more. See our website for current courses. No experience is needed, The courses are all practical, with friendly and supportive tutors that will help you learn new skills and have fun!
When: Varies, 11 week courses run on termly basis
Where: Variety of community centres such as Swarthmore; Cardigan Centre; and Bramley Lawn.
Costs: People on means-tested benefit: Free/ Waged: £73 for 11 week course
Mike Jolly: [email protected] / 0113 244 2773 / www.clothcatleeds.org.uk