Budding artists from the borough enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside with professionals as part of this year’s Basingstoke Festival.

Schools across the borough welcomed the chance, offered by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, to have an artist in residence for a day.

Five professionals worked within five schools and colleges, offering students an opportunity to work alongside the artist and ask questions about all aspects of their career to date, including their art, their educational path and how they promote and sell their work.

Jacky Purtill visited Aldworth School, Liam Kelleher popped along to Brighton Hill Community School and Rachel Davis spent a day at Queen Mary’s College. Sian Storey engaged with students at Loddon School and Arti Chauhan enjoyed a visit to The Vyne School.

The idea for the project came from Chris Edwards, the Headteacher of Brighton Hill Community School.

He said: “Having heard of a school in the midlands which houses an artist in residence, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to bring an artist to our school to allow our students the opportunity to watch a professional at work. We place a high value on the arts so when the council offered us the opportunity to make it happen, we jumped at the chance.

“We were hugely fortunate to enjoy a visit from Liam, who is very talented but also very adept at talking to inquisitive teenagers, all of whom were inspired by his words of wisdom and encouragement.”

Artist and educator, Jacky Purtill visited Aldworth School, and added: “My residency gave me the opportunity to work with a new age group in a new and creative environment and it was wonderful seeing pupils engaging and enjoying themselves. Art is such a positive process and has a huge impact on young people’s self-esteem.”

Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Partnerships Cllr Simon Bound said: “This was an extremely rewarding experience for both the artists and the students they engaged with and it was really fantastic to be able to offer this as part of the 2019 Basingstoke Festival.

“Enjoying the arts is important for good health and wellbeing which is why we’re committed to supporting projects all over the borough.”