Bristol Schools Arts Fund
For more than a decade central government has made cuts to school funding across the UK. Research shows that more than 80% of schools will have less funding per pupil in real terms in 2020 than they did in 2015. Many don’t have a budget to cover art basic materials for its students. Children are having to submit coursework on A4 photocopy paper and create their paintings using powder paint alone! The BBC says that creative arts subjects are also being cut back in many secondary schools in England.
This year, £10,000 is being given to seven secondary schools across Bristol which will be spent on art materials, annual arts awards for students, photographic equipment and school trips. The seven schools awarded in 2020 are:
Ashton Park School
Bristol Cathedral Choir School
City Academy Bristol
Fairfield High School
Oasis Academy Brightstowe
Oasis Academy Brislington
Initiated and funded by Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram, he is offering this funding to fine arts departments of state secondary schools in Bristol. He believes that good quality art education should be accessible to everyone. Arts provision should also be seen as a core subject as they are important for developing skills of creativity, collaboration, self expression and more widely for our economy, which needs creative people who are able to problem solve, think independently and think ‘out of the box’. School arts education should be properly funded by the state, not through private donations like this!
In 2019 he set up and funded the annual Dreamtime Fellowship to support recent art graduates in his home city of Bristol.
Working with Spike Island Arts studios the selected artist has 24-hour access to their own studio space at Spike Island for a year, from September 2019 to August 2020. They are also granted Spike Associates membership, which offers free access to regular talks, studio visits from artists, critics and curators, and peer-to-peer learning and support. The selected artist also receives a bursary of £5,000 and three one-to-one mentoring sessions with Luke Jerram throughout the year.
This is a fantastic opportunity for self-led professional development and to launch your career as an artist.
The 2019 Dreamtime Fellowship, initiated with funding and support from Luke Jerram, was awarded to Bristol-based artist Izzy Mooney. Despite the pandemic Izzy has been able to produce a substantial body of new film and ceramics work. The financial security also ensured her bills were paid, which meant she stayed in Bristol and didn’t have to move back home to London during the pandemic. She has now been made an arts technician at UWE, providing additional stability, enabling her arts practice to continue.
The award is advertised annually through Luke’s social media and via Spike Island.
Transforming Bokamoso Arts Centre
In 2019 Luke Jerram funded the transformation of the outside of the Bokamoso Arts Centre in Maokeng Kroonstad, South Africa. Working with Sello Molefi, they worked with a local artist and community to transform the building from plain concrete box to a colourful and inviting place.
This model of Coronavirus – COVID-19 was commissioned 8 weeks before the pandemic by a university in America to reflect their current and future research, and its focus on solving global challenges.
Luke says: “This artwork is a tribute to the scientists and medical teams who are working collaboratively across the world to try to slow the spread of the virus. It is vital we attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus by working together globally, so our health services can manage this pandemic.”
“Helping to communicate the form of the virus to the public, the artwork has been created as an alternative representation to the artificially coloured imagery received through the media. In fact, viruses have no colour as they are smaller than the wavelength of light.”
An edition of 5 of these artworks are being made and sold to museums and private collectors, with all profits going to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) who are assisting developing countries deal with the fallout of the pandemic.