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Kevin Dean talks about the background to The Omega Art School and reigniting creativity


So many people have told me how their interest in art and creativity was discouraged when they were young, often by their parents, or even teachers. However that sense of wanting to create doesn’t disappear, and it can be reignited at any time in our lives, perhaps in mid-career, on retiring, or once our children are older. There are of course many advantages in taking up art as adults, for instance, our attention span is better than when we were young, we probably have less distractions and can be more focused. It was with is in mind that I began the Omega Art School for adults, after years of teaching part-time, or as a visiting lecturer in various art colleges in the Uk and aboard.

I wanted to give students a traditional art school experience, offering a range of media and techniques taught by professional artists, all at an affordable cost. I have teamed up with some great artists who also have teaching experience, we each have our particular speciality, Debs Dodsworth for example is a brilliant printmaker, Chris Wood paints beautiful acrylics, Jacqui Mair is very well known for her collage work and my son Mataio Austin Dean, a graduate from the Slade, also teaches acrylics and etching. Rachel Johnstone has also begun teaching textiles, while I teach drawing and watercolour.

The students meet once a week for half a day, or in the evening over a 10 week term. Most classes begin with a presentation and often a demonstration. The classes are small, so people get lots of help from the tutor – plus we have one to one tutorials at the end of each term. We like to encourage people to work in their own time, so there is also homework available – if people want to do it of course.

The exhibition at The Jack House Gallery from 25th March – 2nd April, is a culmination of a lot of hard work by our students and tutors. Virtually all of our 75 students have at least one piece of work on show, while most of the framed pieces are by people who joined the school when we first began about 2 years ago. I hope the show will encourage all those people who have an interest in art to join our wonderful community, and possibly realise a long-held ambition to reignite their creativity!

We are offering a couple of free taster sessions at the gallery, I’ll be taking a drawing class on Sunday 26th March 1-4pm, while Jacqui Mair will be introducing people to the art of collage on Saturday 1st April 1-4pm. Or you can come and meet the tutors on Saturday 25th March 12 – 2pm. 

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