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York Student Volunteers Help Local Community

Uni of York 300414

7:09am 19th June 2014

Taking inspiration from the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition on show at the York church, visitors can make  masks or help to create a rice shaker, a hanging garden in the church grounds.

Part of York Curiouser and the York Festival of Ideas, the arts outreach event on Saturday, 21 June, is just one of number of volunteering projects taking place across the city as part of the University's Work programme.

Coordinated by the University's Careers team in partnership with academic departments, Work allows student volunteers to demonstrate their commitment to the local community, while gaining valuable work experience to enhance their future career prospects.

This year, around 200 students from the Departments of Education, English and Related Literature, History of Art and Politics, are taking part in 35 community projects. These are run in partnership with 50 community partners, including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the National Trust, York Children’s University, York Museums Trust and the Company of the Merchant Adventurers of the City of York.

Other Work projects include creating a dementia friendly film for business, projects linked to the Tour de France, creating marketing materials for Tang Hall Community Centre and storytelling at York Castle and the Yorkshire Museum.  

Sarah Leith, Volunteering Project Officer in Careers, said:

"University of York students have a lot to offer the city and community in terms of enthusiasm and skills. The Work scheme is about helping students to develop their skills, enhance their employability and gain valuable experience in the sectors that are of particular interest to them, such as the heritage and cultural industries and the education sector."

"The Aesthetica Art Prize workshop is one of three @Work projects run in conjunction with York Curiouser, which is exploring the historic city of York through contemporary art interventions. The aim is for new artworks to lead people into unexplored and hidden areas of York, as well as encouraging them to take a fresh look at better-known parts of the city."

"The Aesthetica workshop challenged a team of six University of York students to create a workshop which would engage families in a discussion about modern art."

Second-year History of Art student Charlotte Vinson said:

"The workshop is about celebrating modern art and bringing it forward to a new audience.  Taking inspiration from the bee-themed winning artwork, Song for the Last Queen, families can make and decorate bees from recycled materials, filling them with rice to create a shaker."

"We will also be inviting people to help us create a hanging garden a new piece of artwork, which will encourage visitors to think about bees and sustainability. A third activity is around mask making, which relates to another piece of artwork in the exhibition, 541 dias, which is about identity."

"Taking part in Work has been a fantastic experience which has helped us develop some really useful skills and contacts for the future."

Griselda Goldsbrough, Education Coordinator, York Curiouser, said:

"We are delighted to be able to work with students from the University as part of York Curiouser and co-ordinate the Saturday workshop. Students have looked at the artwork of Susanne Davies, whose work can be seen in the grounds Merchant Adventurers Hall, which inspired the hanging garden participants can create."

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition workshop will take place outside St Mary's Church. Coppergate, York on Saturday, 21 June from 11am-1pm and 2-4pm.

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