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Blog - Venture Arts

A Volunteers Insight Into Supporting Learning Disabled Artists at Venture Arts by Hamble-Rose Dean


Venture Arts volunteers assist their team of professional artists within the studio environment. They support learning disabled people to produce high quality artwork resulting in increased wellbeing confidence, social and creative skills.

Exhibition view: Preview night, PERSPECTIVES at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Photo by Emily Wilkinson.

Volunteers at Venture Arts come from all walks of life – student, professional, creative, social care and health. Equally, volunteers choose to give their time to Venture Arts for many reasons – to gain experience in community arts, social care, psychology, education and health; for a school or university placement; as part of a volunteering scheme; or simply to spend their time doing something enjoyable in the community.

Artist Hamble-Rose Dean has been volunteering with Venture Arts in the past year, supporting studios artists and assisting with exhibition preparation for PERSPECTIVES, a series of exhibitions and events taking place across Manchester and Salford from October 2018 – February 2019.

Exhibition View: ‘SCRRIPTT WRRIGHHTINNG’ By Barry Finan. Photo by Emily Wilkinson.

Here Hamble-Rose shares more about her experience with supporting learning disabled artists and Venture Arts in the run up to their current exhibition at one of Manchester’s hidden heritage gems, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House:

Poster for the exhibition

Poster for Persepctives

What first drew me to Venture Arts was their vision to see learning disabled play a valued and valuable role within art and culture as artists. Over the past few months I have volunteered alongside the artists within the organisation. In my role I supported learning disabled adults to produce high quality artwork, resulting in their increased wellbeing, confidence, social and creative skills.

It is my belief that creativity should have no limits.

PERSPECTIVES is a series of exhibitions, happenings and creative exchanges proudly presented by Venture Arts. PERSPECTIVES will share not only the different perspectives of the artists in terms of their artwork and disciplines but also how they view and exist in the world today as practicing contemporary artists with learning disabilities.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is one of the venues hosting the first exhibition in the PERSPECTIVES series. I had opportunity to work with the artists in the months running up to the showcase and so witnessed and supported the creative process that led to some of the works on display.

During the workshop sessions I was on hand to assist the artists to achieve their full creative potential, helping problem solve in order to bring their vision to life. I truly appreciate the importance of ascertaining a craft.

Aiding in the framing process was a highly rewarding experience; there is something so satisfactory about seeing an artwork from workbench to frame.

As a fellow artist, it is so refreshing to see work so raw and candid. The collections of works on display are completely accessible to everyone, on the preview night you could see the works inspiring others, being appreciated and being discussed.

Each PERSPECTIVES exhibition celebrates not only the hard work of the artists featured but also the workshop leaders, carers and supporters of the participants. It was a real pleasure to enable these individuals to express themselves.

The works can be seen on display at: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW
Open: Wednesday, Thursday – Sunday | 11am – 4:30pm
1 November – 2 December 2018
(£5 admission charge allows entry to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and the exhibition)

This venue is fully accessible. Find out more about PERSPECTIVES and volunteering at Venture Arts volunteering opportunities via our website

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