Ryder support BALTIC Gateshead Schools Murals

The project brought together artists, school children and regional businesses to unveil art murals in five Gateshead schools.

Organised by BALTIC and supported by a number of local businesses, the project helped students celebrate their school and themselves, providing a unique opportunity to join forces after a tough year in lockdown and collaborate with a local artist.

After completing the new Ryder designed Whickham School in 2020, the practice sponsored the school to work alongside artist, Zoe Allen, to produce their mural project, Pilot.  Pilot is designed to represent the four key values of Whickham School – resilience, aspiration, respect and empathy – and ensures the space encourages individuals to meet these values.

Pilot by Zoe Allen and Whickham School

Through five skills based workshops per school, pupils and artists have created completely distinct artworks specifically developed and installed in communal spaces to create a lasting legacy in each school.  Learning new skills, gaining experience of working with practising artists and being together in a shared space, were at the heart of this valuable project which has enabled collective ownership of the final artwork by the pupils and schools.

Michelle Johnstone, faculty leader for creative arts at Whickham School, highlighted the value of the project, “This wonderful group of young people faced severe disruption to both their education and social experiences due to the pandemic.  Exams were cancelled, along with the prom and the BALTIC schools project provided an opportunity for pupils to work together, with an artist in residence and contribute their ideas and designs for the wonderful string art instillation which becomes a legacy of their commitment and passion for art and their sense of belonging and respect for their school.  On behalf of the school, I would like to sincerely thank BALTIC, Ryder and our artist Zoe Allen.”

Mark Thompson, managing partner at Ryder, said, “Ryder is delighted to be partnering with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art to support Whickham School pupils create a high quality mural under the guidance of a professional artist.  We hope our participation in this initiative helps to inspire more young people into a career in the creative industries.”

Imagery:  The House of Hues © 2021 BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

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