Art activity packs will help paint the town in sound

Paint the town in sound

Art activity packs inspired by Sunderland Museum’s Paint the Town in Sound exhibition have been distributed to families across Wearside.

Five hundred packs were dropped off with community organisations - Washington Community Food Project (WCFP), Hetton New Dawn, 1st Herrington Scouts and Sunderland Soup Kitchen - who will hand out the packs on behalf of Sunderland Culture.

The packs contain an A4 booklet which introduces some of the artworks in Paint the Town in Sound, an exhibition curated and designed by Sunderland Culture and Mercury Prize nominated Sunderland band Field Music. The band was inspired by Sunderland’s music scene to create an exhibition exploring the links between music and art through fashion, album covers, videos, photographs and paintings. Some of the artwork displayed is taken from the Arts Council Collection (ACC), an important national loan collection of modern and contemporary British Art.

Artists whose work has been chosen from the ACC by Field Music include Helen Cammock, Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, Mark Leckey and Susan Philipsz, some of who have inspired the five local artists who have created the packs for Sunderland Culture.

Activities in the packs, distributed in time for the February half-term holiday, include:

A storytelling activity with novelist Amy Lord;
A drawing sounds activity by artist Elizabeth Kane;
A paper dolls activity called ‘Everyone Welcome Disco’ by Rachel Brook;
Talking Typography with Kerry Cook from the Art Room Sunderland;
Design your own fantasy band with hand-painted illustrations of famous bands and their accessories by artist Eleanor Matthews

Posy Jowett, Public Engagement and Learning Officer at Sunderland Culture, said: “We want to support and inspire local families during this difficult time, so we’re delighted to partner with Washington Food Bank, Hetton New Dawn, 1st Herrington Scouts Group and Sunderland Soup Kitchen to offer families a raft of free resources to help them discover the joy of art and music together.

“Each pack includes all the materials families need to take part and join in – like paper, pencils and pens, an exercise book, scissors and glue. Our packs will also be available as a digital download for families to use at home over the February Half term – and beyond!

“The packs explore ideas around identity, storytelling, and self-expression, and encourage families to think about the kind of music they like and how it can inspire us to be creative. This is a perfect way in for families to find out about new artworks, learn about each other and develop new skills.”

Hilary Avent, Community Development Worker at Hetton New Dawn, and Curate at St Michael’s, Easington Lane, said: “I was talking to a mother of five last week and was telling her about the packs, and she was excited at the thought of her children being given something to do during the holiday.

“We’ve already identified which families will get the packs, and we’ll be distributing them in time for the half-term break. I’m sure they’ll have an impact – parents have been frustrated at the lack of things for their children to do.”

John Edwards, Cub Leader at 1st Herrington Scouts, said: “We’ll be distributing the packs, alongside a bag of half-term goodies, to our Beavers, Cubs and some of our younger Scouts. I think they’re a great idea – it’s a real issue for parents to find something a bit different to keep their children occupied, particularly during half-term. They can’t really go anywhere and they’re already spending so much time on their computers because of online learning.”

The Paint the Town in Sound exhibition is available online until February 21 - https://sunderlandculture.org.uk/paint-the-town-in-sound-online-exhibition/. You can also listen to a Spotify playlist created by Field Music for the exhibition.

A programme of other activities and workshops has been developed to run alongside the project, based on its themes and primarily aimed at young people and families. The programme includes an initiative with Sunderland’s Young Musicians Project whose members are putting together a portrait display of local musicians to be exhibited in the Museum’s Art Lounge. The programme also includes collaborations with Sunderland Culture’s Celebrate Different Collective and Arts Centre Washington’s Bright Lights exhibition for young artists

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