Open Arts is a community arts project for people who have had experience of mental health problems, and also those at risk including carers, and would like to engage into the community by making artwork within a group setting. The project runs 12 week courses offering an opportunity to learn new art skills and techniques within a safe and supportive environment. No art experience is necessary, but if participants have experience in art the artists offer support to develop skill and interest, and people can work at their own pace. Groups are run in community based venues, and people can be referred by a mental health professional, or they can self refer. Open Arts aims to offer people opportunity to move forward as part of society, challenging the stigma of mental health, with people from all different backgrounds working together with a common interest in art.
Open Arts aims to offer opportunities to participants over and above the structured courses, including gallery visits and the chance to exhibit artwork, to encourage participation in the widest sense. On completion of their 12 week arts course, participants are offered a day a week at the Open Arts Studio at Hadleigh Old Fire Station House, to enable them further time and space to develop their artwork and studio practice. The studio promotes independent art making, networking and longer term support, with 6 month placements being offered to studio members. Participants are also signposted on to other opportunities such as further learning and volunteer opportunities.
You can learn more about Open Arts by visiting their website here.