Some of the  project art work

Some of the  project art work


Olympic Schools / Community Arts Project

Kevin Whitney became the Great Britain official Olympic Artist in 1982-commissioned by the Princess Royal and is the only Official Olympic Artist in the history of the Modern Olympic Movement. He has been to several Olympic Games and has painted many Olympic Sports men and women.

In 2004/05 a schools and community Arts project was created by Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE and Kevin (to read more about Loraine, please click here). Art workshops were delivered with an Olympic theme in various schools and community groups (including working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and with learning difficulties) across the South West. This project was very successful and proved to be a great platform for the promotion of both sport and art within the young community. Kevin inspired the children who took part and some of the artwork produced was of exceptional standard. In 2005 the project was recognised by the 2012 Olympic bid committee who then invited us to exhibit the children's and Kevin's Art work in London.  While we were exhibiting at the conference Sir Steve Redgrave said “The project was amazing and we should take it across the regions”.

In 2006 the project took on board Sir Steve’s comments and we launched with Jason Gardener MBE the Regional/National project. This will enable us to take the Olympic Arts Project on the road throughout the country leading up to and beyond the 2012 Olympics. The project educates children of all ages about the history of these ancient games and enthuses them to take an interest in sport through creative art. The artists give art lessons with an Olympic theme; the children are given the opportunity to produce their own work based around Greek mythology, sport or abstract. The art produced is exhibited in the schools/community centres that have taken part, culminating in exhibitions of all the art produced within the participating regions/areas.

Olympic Gold medallist Jason Gardener MBE, Olympic swimmer and 6 times World Champion Mark Foster and Olympian Robin Francis have taken on the roles of official ambassadors, helping to promote initiatives for this unique project, We are very fortunate to have the support of these great athletes who make appearances for project events, diaries permitting.

Swimmer Guy Sherwin, Beijing Olympian Modern Pentathlete Sam Weale and Paralympian runner and multiple Gold Medallist Steve Brunt MBE are also supporting the project. When possible they attend our receptions and presentations (diaries permitting) As elite sportsmen our athlete ambassadors are an inspiration and strive to engage the young people in recognising the importance of sport including its aspects of well-being, self development and inclusivity.

The project has also been supported by Ged Roddy MBE in his former role as Director of Sport for Team Bath at the Bath University. He was instrumental in supporting the initial start up of the Olympic Arts Project including an introduction to Kevin Whitney. We look forward to working with him in the future in his new role as Director of Youth for the Football Premier League as we expand the project to work with art and other sports in the community.

The Member of Parliament for Bath, The Right Honourable Don Foster, who is also the Shadow Minister for Culture and the Arts, has been extremely supportive of the project in both his capacity as an MP for the City of Bath and equally in his role as the Chairman of 2012 South West (regional Olympic committee).

As well as taking the art workshops into schools, colleges, universities and the community it is very important to us to also give children from disadvantaged backgrounds, with disabilities, and with learning difficulties the opportunity to also fully participate. The project was very successful in 2004/05 and proved to be a great platform for the promotion of both sport and art to our young community. Kevin inspired the children who took part and some of the artwork produced was of an exceptional standard and put towards their GCSE and A Level coursework.

Work created by local children during Olympic Arts Project workshops were exhibited at the Guildhall in Bath in June 2008. The Chairman of the Bath & North East Somerset Council hosted a reception for the children, their families, the projects sponsors and our athlete Ambassadors to launch the exhibition. The Chairman awarded certificates to some of the children who had created outstanding work.

Kevin has supervised art workshops to schools and colleges in London, South Cheshire, Bath, North East Somerset, Wiltshire and Somerset. Some of the artwork from 2007/08 was exhibited at City Hall in London to mark the launch of the London and national Olympic Arts Project. We were delighted that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson officially opened our exhibition at City Hall in July 2008. Kevin also attended the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the support of a sponsor and we were invited to exhibit some of the children’s artwork in a gallery in Beijing during the Olympic Games.

In October 2008 Loraine and one of the projects sponsors were invited to China to discuss linking businesses and schools in the UK with schools and businesses in China. In 2010 we will develop further our relationship with the UK China Culture Association.

We are also pleased to welcome other artists to our team including Mr. Tim Vyner MA (Royal College of Art and a BA (Hons) from the Camberwell School of Art and Design. Tim is a Senior Lecturer at Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University and attended the Beijing Olympic Games. Since his return from Beijing he has created over 70 paintings inspired by the Beijing games.

The Olympic Arts Project relies solely on sponsorship and in kind services from the business community and individuals. It is through this support that we have been able to provide these unique opportunities to children and young people in our communities. We look forward to increasing this nationally and internationally in the lead up to, during and after the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The project offers 4 levels for donations/sponsorship, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Relay packages each offering various levels of marketing and publicity for the sponsoring company. Packages and benefits can be tailored to a sponsors budget, we can create individual art workshops from approx 300's upwards and we also appreciate support in kind.

For information on how you can help please contact Loraine, details on the Contact Us page.

You can read more about Loraine by clicking here to visit her profile page.

Please click here to visit the Gallery pages. This will open in a new window so will show larger pictures than the Gallery button above.

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