Evaluation of Your Art – Cornwall’s art treasures brought you by the Look Group, Bude

 (Our aims are in red)

To make the work of internationally renowned artists accessible to remote communities in North Cornwall

There were 1269 visitors counted plus the numbers attending the Preview, Discussion Afternoon and Celebration. Forty-five adults attended the Discussion afternoon and there were more adults and children at the Celebration than we could count. (There are more details re. our audience at the end of the report.)

Bude Look Group’s blog recorded the process, artists and events of the exhibition https://budelookgroup.wordpress.com/ – on some days the blog was viewed 91 times.

 “An excellent idea – to be able to see such a varied collection without having to travel to the Tate at St Ives.”

“Good to think pieces from Truro Museum are being seen in different localities –good involvement with children’s workshops.”

“Great mix of artists. Good to see a public collection”

“I thought there were some absolutely beautiful pieces of work – very inspiring – a lovely exhibition.”

“Brilliant – showed the range of work in Cornwall – influences of art on each other and made me think of the more famous artists too.

To raise awareness of the Cornwall Schools’ Art Collection by inviting teachers and schools to the galleries

Two letters providing details about the exhibition were sent to 35 schools.

10 schools (395 children) booked workshops at the Castle.

To engage school children with influential pieces of artwork from a range of artists through inviting schools to visit and promoting the workshops relating to the art on display

How successful were the holiday workshops, school visits and Royal Cornwall Museum Learning Team workshops? Details can be found on our blog.

Feedback from teachers:The exhibition was wonderful and it was great for the children to be actively involved. Thank you for allowing our children to be involved with their group and also for the organized (Christmas holiday) workshops. We really hope it can happen again. “

Free Range Kids (Home Tuition Group)

“The children thoroughly enjoyed their morning and it is great to develop links between us and Royal Cornwall Museum.

The pleasure was all ours! Thank you.”

Sally Gordon (Headteacher Bude Infant School)

To promote The Castle, Bude as a centre for art in North Cornwall and raise the profile of its Heritage Centre and Limelight Café

“There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the exhibition.  Many of the school children and adults had not been to the Castle before, so it was a great opportunity to introduce them to what the Castle has to offer.  The children really engaged with the exhibition.

The difference in turn out between the opening and closing ceremony was testament to the exhibition, and how the word spread amongst the community.  The workshops were excellent, and greatly appreciated.

The exhibition has been brilliant for The Castle, and for Bude.  It has reinforced the importance of art in our community, and re-instated The Castle as a cultural centre for that.”

Anna Worthington Events Organiser, the Castle, Bude

 To encourage intergenerational and cross-community collaboration in hard to reach communities

Parents, children and grandparents have all been involved: the workshops have encouraged this. We have been visited by artists, County Councillors, members of other Look Groups including a group of 6 from Falmouth/Penryn Look Group.

We have been supported by the Trustees of the Blanchminster Trust Town Councillors and County Councillors as well as Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s. Local people who are members of over 20 different community groups have supported the exhibition. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

 To promote opportunities for collaborative working between Cornwall’s cultural institutions, Cornwall Council, and local communities

Curatorial and interpretation support from Tate

Jeanie Sinclair and her colleagues at Tate St Ives have been very supportive –initial workshop on how to curate an exhibition –meeting at Tate St Ives, – giving freely of their time -prompt email correspondence -advice on how to write and present labels -proof reading and revising documents and press releases -pre-exhibition meeting -attendance at and opening of the preview -discussion afternoon in the galleries, and further support re our legacy. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

The Loan of Artworks from the Fine Art Collection and Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection  from the Royal Cornwall Museum

Bude Look Group is very grateful to Liz Shepherd and her colleagues at RCM  for their trust, advice and support plus the transport, installation and taking down the art works. We had wonderful support and cooperation from the team that transported and hung the art and we were very impressed by the workshop leaders and by how much the children learnt.

The Bude Look Group hopes that the RCM will have increased confidence in using locations like the Castle in other parts of Cornwall – particularly with regard to the Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection. The feeling of the Group is that this unique and precious resource owes its being to the fact that artists gave (or charged very little for) their work so the children of Cornwall would have access to influential art in their own locality. The people of Bude and the large surrounding rural area have responded with enthusiasm to the chance to see publically owned art at the Castle and all the local schools have used this opportunity to give children the opportunity to respond to influential art in Bude for the first time. A collection has a far greater impact than the one or two artworks that schools might have been able to borrow. At the RCM workshops children learnt how to engage with artworks in an exhibition. Because of these unique circumstances we hope that the environmental conditions usually required by National Galleries could be relaxed a little so the collection can achieve its purpose by being loaned to venues in other locations in Cornwall or that other artworks from the collection could be borrowed for new exhibitions at the Castle in the future. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

Bude-stratton Council and the Castle

The Council was very keen to make the exhibition a success and showed great confidence in the Look group. Castle staff was very supportive in meeting the environmental criteria as well as possible. Staff was generous in giving their time, and unstinted assistance: in helping with moving furniture; storing equipment; providing poster design and printing; in their tolerance of any disturbance caused in the office and in their enjoyment of having the children. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

BAAM (Bude Arts and Music)

Gave generously of their time and skills and gave us access to a wider audience. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

Have we promoted Look Groups?

Only 14% of visitors knew about Look Groups so hopefully the 86%, who indicated they hadn’t known about Look Groups, now do.

We spread the word about Look Groups, distributing Look group publicity posters -particularly with lots of visitors from” away.”

We distributed Look Group publicity posters while invigilating and explained our meetings to visitors.  We have acquired some new members.

Have we further developed our member’s skills in art appreciation and leadership, confidence and enthusiasm for art?

Yes all these things – particularly the improvement of art appreciation and we learned a great deal about curating an exhibition: establishing and maintaining a theme, focusing and limiting text on labels, choosing and arranging artworks and understanding the importance of environmental conditions plus the difficulties involved in effective publicity. We also developed confidence in talking about art to strangers and in undertaking research relating to artists, art movements and styles of work.  We developed our IT skills particularly the use of a blog. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

Response to the Exhibition

  1. How much have you enjoyed visiting the exhibition? 92% of visitors were very positive
  2. How much have you been involved in thinking about artworks? 82% were very positive
  3. How much have you learnt? 86% were very positive (Star Chart)

Information derived from the evaluations on the back of the I Spy activity sheet:

What did you think of the exhibition?  100% of the comments were very positive ranging from really cool and thought-provoking to excellent:

“Wide ranging – good to see art brought to Bude – that someone took the time to help me engage with the paintings.”

Very good – lots of information added to the experience. I liked the research done by the Look Group giving a context for the works. An excellent show, beautifully presented”

 “Inspirational and wonderful to see children’s work up too.”

For details about the interactive materials that supported visitors’ appreciation of influential artists see: https://budelookgroup.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/interacting-with-the-art-works/

“Excellent – the organisers are art teachers (a compliment as we are not)brilliant idea to give out the I Spy sheets and Post Its.”

“Liked it a lot but you had to think about it.”

“I Spy activity actually made you look really well and appreciate it more.”

There was general approval of the interactive materials; the five questions displayed alongside artworks were a real success. Visitors found the sharing of comments entertaining. Some were humorous but others deepened people’s appreciation and these five artworks were often the most popular judging by the evaluations sheets. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

What has pleased us?

When asked what did you like best?

“It was well laid out and not so much that it was over-whelming – space to sit and read and look at the artworks.”

All was perfect! Plan another show please; I would have liked the exhibition to be going to other venues.”

We were pleased at how word spread and more schools were wishing to book workshops in the end than we had time for. We were grateful for the huge support of Tate St Ives and the Royal Cornwall Museum who enabled the exhibition to take place.We were also delighted by the wonderful support of the staff at the Castle and BAAM.

We were delighted that our applications for financial support were successfully received by FEAST, Bude-stratton Council, the Blanchminster Trust and Cornwall Councillors’ Community Trust. Without their support the exhibition would not have happened.

Brian Hanscomb’s art work created great interest and many thoughtful responses to the question alongside. People have really engaged – we even received an essay as well as many humorous remarks. This helped to break people’s natural reserve. We were delighted Brian visited us and came to the Celebration.

What has pleased us are the many comments expressing locals’ wishes for a similar exhibition of publically owned art next year and hopes that the baton may be passed to other parts of Cornwall that could show the Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection for locals so children can see influential artists’ work in their own locality. Feedback by members of Bude Look Group

When asked how could we have improved your experience?  There was an overwhelming nothing apart from five who would have like to see even more artworks.

All of it – the whole show – also the children’s work being ‘professionally shown’ – lovely works shown at their best. Also I liked the friendliness of members of the Look Group”.

Some additional detail:

Audience: local community of North Cornwall, local teachers and school children, tourists during the Christmas break

  • Residents in 24 villages were accessed through articles published in their Parish Magazines; Jeanie Sinclair from Tate St Ives and Sue Read from Bude Look Group were interviewed on Radio Cornwall; Press releases were made to local newspapers (examples can be found in the Appendices); invitations to other Cornish Look Groups; www. -social media including Tate St Ives, Castle, FEAST and KEAP websites/newsletters and email contacts provided through our links with Bude Arts and Music and the Castle has enabled us to reach many more different parts of the community. The presentation of children’s artwork provided the impetus for parents and grandparents to visit.
  • Statistics derived from the logForty-five adults attended the Discussion afternoon and there were more adults and children at the Celebration than we could count.Of the 1,269, 490 were children, 484 were adult females and 295 were adult males.

    1,055 (83% approx.) visitors were from the local area we targeted and 214 (17% approx.) were from other parts of the country.

    The majority of visitors from other parts of the country visited the exhibition between 22nd Dec and 4th January.

    The group that was under represented was teenagers. There was not enough time during an art lesson to bring the children down and back to Budehaven School. One teacher visited from St Petroc’s College Barnstaple but this was near the end of the exhibition and so probably ran out of time to organise anything.

    There are no stats for teenagers/young adults because we didn’t record it but there’s no record of any Year 7 – 13 student groups visiting.

    Information derived from the evaluations on the back of the I Spy activity sheet: only a tiny minority did not belong to a community group. A great variety were mentioned: Old Cornwall Society, Art Society, U3A, reading, dance, craft, gym or fitness groups, artists, print-makers, Youth Theatre, Sea-pool, Scouts, Brownies, Surf, Rotary, Inner Wheel, skittles clubs, members of Cornwall County Council, Newlyn Art Gallery, Look Groups, Plymouth Art College, local group of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Bude Art and Music.

  • Reflective thoughts offered by Bude Look Group We needed to improve our publicity – more professional graphic layout –pay £10 and boost a post.We could have begun a countdown: two weeks left… one week … 3 days… last chance to see… on radio Village Hall boards and websites etc. More banners may have helped -we decided to move one from Flexbury to Bellevue in the town centre.
  • details about the schools’ visits 35 schools were contacted by letter on two occasions with requests to promote the exhibition to parents. The schools that visited: Bude Inf. 60, Bude Jun.60,  Otterham Primary 55, Stratton 60, Kilkhampton Primary 35, St Petroc’s, Bude 10, Warbstow Primary 35, Nanstallon 35, Boscastle 35 and the Home Tuition Group (Free Range Kids) 10; (Budehaven have involved KS3+ children by setting homework that involved visiting the exhibition). Total number of booked visits during the three weeks of term time: 10 (395 children).

    Not many knew of the existence of Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection. On separate occasions 3 local headteachers expressed delight that artworks from this collection had been brought to Bude.

    Stories about how the collection evolved and is now cared for by the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro have been published in many local papers, discussed in an interview on Radio Cornwall, shared on social media, published in …parish magazines, shared in a letter to 35 schools and featured on the introduction to the galleries yet members of Bude Look Group needed to explain the exhibition to visitors in the galleries who were expecting to see the work of local artists. Local people were very interested – much talked about.

    People were impressed that artworks had been brought up from Truro. An exhibition of publically owned art is so new to Bude that it often needed explanation.

  • Many schools contacted the RCM museum re. workshops but only the first four paid for by the Blanchminster Trust were booked. These were very well received. Many children brought parents to the Celebration to view their work and the exhibition showing familiarity with the artworks.

    The holiday workshops were successful but had low attendance (of 20 places we filled 9 for each workshop and two thirds of the first workshop were relations or friends of members of the Look Group). We were supported by BAAM who have previously held well attended lantern making workshops and we asked 35 schools to promote them with parents + we all gave out fliers – perhaps the Christmas break was not an ideal time. Children were very engaged and lively and we had much positive feedback from parents.

    Transportation costs are an impediment for the other schools that are beyond walking distance.

  • More detail re. Response to the exhibition
  • Artist profiles – people found these interesting.

    The I Spy activity / evaluation sheet was very popular and a successful way to receive evaluations. The idea was taken away!

    Disappointing take up of Quest question cards. Many admired them but didn’t feel they were intended for them. We have provided an information sheet on how to use them especially for teachers. We will certainly make good use of them in future Look Group Meetings.

    Star voting chart did well.

    more info re Castle

  • 48% who visited the exhibition also visited the Limelight Café

    49% who visited the exhibition also visited the Heritage Centre

    Note when answering how did you hear about this exhibition to a sample of 8% of the adult visitors:

    42% said they had dropped in; 26% said that they had heard of it from someone they knew; 12% saw the poster; 12% heard via email or social media; 8% from press/magazines.









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