Students from Bidwell Brook School in Dartington opened their art exhibition at Totnes Ariel  centre in King Edward VI Community College (KEVICCs) on Monday July 3rd, which showcased the talented students’ artwork. 

The exhibition is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two schools, which aimed to highlight the work Bidwell Brook students have been doing at KEVICCs. The students have been taking part in Year 11 classes once a week, a partnership that was organised by Helen Boon, the Inclusion & Work Experience Co-ordinator at Bidwell Brook. It has given students at Bidwell the opportunity to utilise KEVICCs resources whilst learning new artistic techniques in a mainstream school. 

The classes were led by Nick Rangecroft and saw the students using equipment such as a printing press to learn about the different types of print making. 

Rose, one of the students from Bidwell, spoke about how much she enjoyed the classes: “It was really fascinating to learn new stuff. I really liked going there. We did Lino prints and we painted it and printed it down and it comes up with beautiful pictures and patterns and it was really nice.”

The exhibition, which was opened by Town Councillor Jacqi Hodgson, aimed to to rejoice in the inclusive collaboration of Bidwell and KEVICCs. 

The exhibition revolved around the message of “community inclusion” and “ability not disability.”

Kathryn Protheroe, Teaching Assistant for the sessions, said: “Nick showed them such a different way of working. He showed them how to do different types of print making so they tried different types of things like lino printing and holographs. It is fantastic to have the two schools collaborating together... and the girls have really enjoyed coming along... they’ve got a huge amount out of it.”

She added: “It was really great that Nick was able to give them some time. Once he’d demonstrated what they had to do they literally just ran with it. They were completely independent... it really helps to boost their confidence.”

Jacqi Hodgson, Town Councillor, said: “I think its really, as usual, astonishing what youngsters can do, from all backgrounds and all abilities.There’s a massive aount of talent here... and credit to the school (for) supporting the students to go so far as to have an exhibition. Not every school would organise this and its lovely to see how the students are enjoying (it).”