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Art Lab

Launched in May 2019 and delivered in partnership with Birtley Hub Resource Centre, Art Lab is an ongoing holiday programme offering daily artist-led activities, weekly trips and lunch throughout the school holidays. The offer is developed with and for families living in Birtley and particularly families who usually access free school meals during term time.

In May half-term this year, we worked with a group of young people aged 10-13, adopting an experimental methodology, exploring science and art, with activities ranging from foraging, making paint pigment and natural dye, and filmmaking. Delivered over three days, the programme included a trip to Birkheads Wild and a family celebration event at BALTIC, where families were invited to explore the building, take part in making activities and enjoy lunch together.

During the summer holidays we worked with families in Birtley to explore environmental issues and climate change through a series of activities and actions, including experimental drawing and food preparation with wonky vegetables, and designing protest costumes and slogans which we proudly displayed at an impromptu climate march through the town.

Art Lab has been adapted during the pandemic/lockdown period whilst congregating is less possible.

Creative packs were delivered in April 2020 to doorsteps containing supermarket vouchers or food parcels and experimental materials and activity prompts. We then asked the recipients after the first delivery as to any useful changes to the deliveries and listened to this feedback.

In the third week of June 2020, a second delivery of creative packs were made. Accompanied by supermarket vouchers or deliveries from local supplier Continental Delicatessen, Birtley, this pack of experimental materials is animated by ten activity prompts exploring making, drawing, performing, protesting and foraging designed in collaboration with artist Bella Carerras.

We'd like to thank our Birtley partners and families and we look forward to creating round three together in the Summer holidays.

For more information please contact Megan Todman, BALTIC Producer (Communities) Maternity Cover on