How can we make art more inclusive?
A new blog by Dr Jade French on Irregular Art Schools shows the way forward to break down barriers to studying art.
Dr Jade French, Lecturer in Inclusive Arts Practice & Museum Studies, has just published a new blog, ‘We need to rethink assessment to make the arts more inclusive’.
Dr French is currently leading AHRC research project ‘Irregular’ Art Schools (2021–23) which aims to innovate professional development opportunities for learning disabled artists through action research.
The blog highlights the difficulties for learning disabled artists to access traditional routes like higher education, engage in arts criticism through peer groups, or get involved with artist-led communities.
We want to learn how to best support learning disabled artists in Leeds, but to also ask bigger questions about inclusive learning and development in the arts too.
Dr French explains, “Many artists face considerable barriers and inequalities and frequently rely on developing complex networks of support to pursue the arts. We want to learn how to best support learning disabled artists in Leeds, but to also ask bigger questions about inclusive learning and development in the arts too.
“We’ve been experimenting with new artistic methods and partnerships, as well as working to bridge the gap across art and social care, in partnership with inclusive arts studio Pyramid, artist-led gallery and studios Assembly House and Leeds City Council’s adult social care team.”
The Irregular Art School Exhibition
The publishing of the blog heralds an important stage in the Irregular Art Schools project, a free exhibition running from 3–24 February at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.
‘The Irregular Art School’ is an art exhibition exploring inclusive artist development curated by undergraduate Fine Art Student Shanelle Bateman, showcases a selection of the artworks created during the research.
The exhibition considers the barriers that learning disabled and/or neurodivergent artists at Pyramid have faced when pursuing being an artist and showcases work created in response, as well as pieces which are outcomes of new and experimental collaborations. It will also include ‘open day’ events where aspiring artists can attend and enrol for the Irregular Art School.
If you would like to attend a private viewing of the The Irregular Art School Exhibition on Friday 17 February 2023, 15:00 – 18:00 GMT, please book via Eventbrite to reserve a place.