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A mural-making skill-sharing initiative in Lewisham, teaching students the processes and artistic skills to have a positive social impact through colourful and thought-provoking public art.
The Lewisham School of Muralism will teach participants the process of creating murals based on our experience. From identifying spaces to designing, painting, evaluating and maintaining the work. Our emphasis will be on collaboration, co-creation and participation, engaging with the community. We have teamed up with Goldsmiths to run 3 courses of 10 weeks each, over a period of 18 months, to bring more colour to the streets of Lewisham. Each course will have 12 students and each group will produce 2 murals as part of their professional development, increasing their skills and contributing to the local community. To do this we’ll assemble a Mural Mobile (a trusty van) with all the equipment necessary to prepare, paint and maintain the murals to the highest standard. This will include items such as a scaffold tower, a hot water pressure gun for graffiti removal etc. So far we are generously supported by Goldsmiths College, Lewisham Council, Network Rail and Lewisham Homes!
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Have you seen any other London Borough with its own School of Muralism? Probably not. This idea has grown organically over two decades of local work, developing a process of engagement and over 15 murals that people love. There are many neglected public spaces in Lewisham that feel unloved, sometimes bringing about antisocial behaviour. These could be transformed by artworks that target the needs of the particular space. Artmongers has been committed to implementing processes which empower communities to reimagine and reclaim their environment. We have built a set of practical and creative methods which we are ready to pass on. We have been approached many times by young artists asking for guidance on how to contribute with their own murals to the local environment, and until now we have not had the structure to support them. The School of Muralism can be that vehicle.
Steps to get it done:
Goldsmiths is committed to supporting the School of Muralism and has pledged £15, 000 and a space in-kind where the initial workshops will happen, which will then move on site for the making of the murals. They will offer the course to students of all departments as an extracurricular activity, so students and Lewisham residents will be working side by side, sharing their knowledge and exchanging skills. Since our first mural in the borough in 2001, we have been supported by local businesses such as Brewers and they have also pledged £6, 000 worth of materials to the project.
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Just a quick update as we get closer to the exciting end of our School of Muralism project. We just completed our first of two ´school led ´participatory murals. As part of out teaching method, the students first lead their own projects so they get a sense of the challenges in the making process and engaging others. Then we direct two end of course murals so that they get to see our twenty years experience in action, resolving complex riddles to come up with a good image to paint. Yesterday, we finished ´The Jumper mural´, which we worked with service users from the 999 Club for Homeless people in Deptford. We asked them about the state of mind they arrive to the Charity and what they find there once they become part of the family. We came up with this analogy of a warm jumper with doors which are either open inwards, shut or open outwards. Above the doors you might read knitted words such as share, hesitant, laughter or empty. The location was an unloved corner of New Cross on the edge of Fordham Park. It was rewarding to see how enthusiastically local people responded to us painting over the last five days. The mural address is SE14 6DQ if you want to visit. We are now moving on to the last mural on Wearside Depot to celebrate the unsung heroes of the Pandemic, the Refuse Collectors from Lewisham Council. More in this later. Finally, we have heard of someone like you who supported our campaign, who is coming all the way from Manchester! This just makes us very happy indeed. If you are thinking of coming along to meet the budding muralists, to see the film we are putting together about our journey and hear all about our plans for the future, please book your free ticket to avoid disappointment. https://bit.ly/3J5pc2u Have a great weekend Patricio and Lsom Team
We are in the countdown for the end of our Lewisham School of Muralism Project, which you have kindly supported. And we are going to end with a Big Bang, and that you can be sure of. Over the last 18 months period, 52 murals have been painted by students and graduates, 33 students have completed one of our three courses, we have engaged 192 participants to create this murals but most importantly, we perfected our course so now we can continue to deliver participatory muralism to other communities across London and beyond. We will be painting the last two large scale murals on the coming weeks, one involving the 999 Club, a Homeless People Charity in Deptford and the other one with refuse collectors from Lewisham Council, the unsung heroes of the Pandemic. This was a public commission that the school won for the Lewisham Borough of Culture 2022. Finally, we want to celebrate the end of this extraordinary adventure in style and if possible, with you. We would be delighted if you join us on the 8th of April, from 4.30 onwards so we can share the entusiasm generated by the students and graduates who will be holding a panel to discuss the course and how it has impacted on their life and artistic practice. This will be a good networking event for them to meet potential supporters and hear about why you supported the project. We will also be presenting our ambitious plans going forward, of becoming the LONDON School of Muralism and our new funding strategy. It is a FREE event but booking is necessary at Evenbrite: https://bit.ly/3J5pc2u (please copy paste if necessary) Hope to see you there and have a great weekend! Patricio and all the Team behind LSoM
Our last course will be drawing to an end in March and the new students are really happy with the modifications we did to the course, following feedback from previous students and our own observations. For instance, their own participatory mural project has been moved forward so by now, the end of the first term, they have permission in place and will be starting on their participation process in January. This deadlines that we put in place, eliminated all possibilities of drifting and helped the students to secure a wall which they are now thinking very concretely about. This will leave us time to reflect on their projects before our course finishes. We also improved the way to build up their skills by doing the observational drawing in large scale and get them to paint large scale earlier too, first in back and white, then introduce color. Smaller steps but bigger pictures! Our site has been populated by new faces and we would like to invite you to visit it at www.lsomuralism.org We leave you with a one minute slide show of real people learning and being inspired by the course and our expert muralist mentors. By the end of March, we will complete this project and hit all the promised targets, despite Pandemic efforts to stop us! Hope you might want to support us in the next cycle beyond then. Best Regards Lewisham School of Muralism Team
The project is going well. We completed the second course with a very creative and popular mural on Chinbrook Meadows in Grove Park, south of Lewisham borough. Its an original idea - bridge inside a tunnel - something we are used to see either one or the other but never together... Our participatory process was a success, with a local teenager providing the initial idea for it, which we then developed into a beautiful site specific mural. The scale of it was larger that we budgeted for, but we were lucky enough to have Network Rail and one of our benefactors contributing to the final costs at the last minute. The students also produced their own participatory murals where they applied what they learned and realise what their strengths and weaknesses are and what they still need to learn going forwards. We are also proud to say that a group of graduates from our first course developed, crowdfunded (in Spacehive) and produced a fantastic mural in Pymmes Park, Edmonton. They energised the local community to produce a high quality mural on an abandoned war structure. So the energy and love is spreading beyond Lewisham already. In terms of the course development, we took into consideration lots of ideas and feedback from the students and produced a new Handbook with lots of improvements to the course. Our methods and aims have become a lot clearer now. We want to train young people into successful muralists who are able to engage community groups, give them a voice, while students find theirs in the process and finally come up with great looking murals for everyone to enjoy. We aim at completing the project at the end of March 2022 with 36 students graduated from our course. Three graduates have formed the Fundraising team now to create a sustainable school beyond then. One of them also becoming the school coordinator, so we are building up a strong organisation from the bottom up. Goldsmiths has recommitted to supporting us beyond March 2022, and we would like you to consider to continue to support us too. There are plenty of pictures on our website, so hope you visit us there soon Best Wishes LSoM Team
The Lewisham School of Muralism led by Artmongers has completed its first course culminating with the production of an extraordinary participatory mural on the side of Lewisham Shopping Center. As part of the course, six students had to learn how to engage a community group in a creative process which would result on an idea for the mural. We engaged eight participants who either were connected to the theme of Migration or were local people who wanted to influence the conversation. The Migration Museum which is currently located at Shopping Center, led the first online session with participants and students, giving insight into how they approach the communication of complex themes in their displays and talk about the museums ethos. During following three workshops the students lead the process of guiding participants through the creative process. We then discussed what had taken place and how to redirect next sessions to find a good result. Patricio Forrester, founder of Artmongers and LSoM said: ́We realised on our first workshop that the issue of migration has some heavy and unappealing resonances so we decided to frame the issue in the context of Advertising, rather than Art. We though: we could do an Ad about having a Holiday from our own prejudice... or a shoe Ad about arriving to a new place and having to leave something behind both physically and in our minds. This is an original approach, different to thinking people are just constantly good or bad ́ Jo Baker, a Lewisham School of Muralism Student said: “The participatory process allowed us and those from the community we were working with to share ideas and quick sketches with each other, then discuss the ideas that emerged. It was interesting how through sharing in this way, you get an idea quite quickly of what is important to people when thinking about migration, and how the group wanted to deal with the subject. We were particularly interested in treating this difficult issue with warmth and humanity. “It was a great process to be part of as a student, helping me to understand how to ensure our future work involves the communities it is based in. We are very thankful to those in the local community who took part in the design process with us.” Paul Redden from Landsec “Connecting communities is incredibly important at Lewisham so we’re really proud to be able to showcase the mural created by the talented students from the Lewisham School of Muralism. It conveys an important topic in a creative way and we hope our shoppers engage with the artwork when the centre re- opens fully.” Hera Lorandos from Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network said: ́Amazing work by Lewisham School of Muralism! Everyone is doing their part to make this amazing place a borough of Sanctuary. We are so glad to see such a visual commitment to sanctuary that helps make Lewisham feel even more welcoming.” Robyn from the Migration Museum said: "The Migration Museum is proud to call Lewisham home and to have helped inspire the talented students from the Lewisham School of Muralism to create this mural. We look forward to reopening soon and welcoming back visitors from Lewisham and beyond to share stories and explore how the movement of people has shaped who we are – as individuals, as communities, and as a nation." The School of Muralism is sponsored by Brewers Paints and supported by Goldsmiths, Greater London Authority and Lewisham Council. Artmongers initially crowdfunded through Spacehive where they received the support of The Mayor of London. You are one of three hundred supporters who contributed to this project individually, we we would like to thank you Especially. Please feel free to share. On Saturday 17th of April, there will be a varnishing event where you can come and talk to the artists and the Lewisham School of Muralism Tutors in person - from 2pm to 6pm. The Address is Lewisham Shopping Center - Molesworth Rd If you have any queries or pictures email Patricio Forrester firstname.lastname@example.org or Liv Wright Lewisham School of Muralism Coordinator email@example.com Making off Photos: https://bit.ly/3fwu6tm Interviews or Conversations with LSOM students available on request. Students who participated: Alistair Leys, Liv Wright, Daisy Allen, Ellen Rose, Jo Baker For more info about leading organisations LSOmuralism.org or artmongers.org Relevant Social media handles Lewisham School of Muralism @lsomuralism Artmongers @artmongers Migration Museum @MigrationUK Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network @LRMNetwork
Against all odds we are managing to deliver our first course successfully. We had a face to face first term and during this period we got to know each other. Now the students are developing their own proposals and painting a wall at home, involving people in their bubble to learn the basics. We are now looking for the second group of Students and we need your help. Would you mind tweeting or posting for us? Get in touch if you need support. Thanks Patricio
How will the money be spent?Total £61,593
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This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:
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