Did you know that NE London offers an exciting art program for budding young artists?  And there are similar opportunities for adults as well?

The New School of Colour (NSOC) is a community based public art program. This program is free and open to the public, but with a special emphasis on offering creative and social opportunities. It allows a positive environment for community members facing social barriers.

Jeremy Jeresky (Art Instructor) began this program as a public art project, because he saw a lack of creative social spaces for community members, but specifically those facing social barriers.

Ontario Trillium FoundationThe original funding for NSOC came from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, as well as donations from other organizations and agencies within London. The objective of the NSOC program is to nurture an innovative change, in conviction with what peoples interests and needs are. It was also designed to encourage social and cultural diversity within the community.

ArtistsThis program is currently running in several locations across London. There is four programs specifically designed for youth, of which one is run out of Beacock Library in Northeast London.  School of Colour Youth Program Exhibit The NSOC program at Beacock runs on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-8:00pm and is designed for youth that are 13-19yrs of age.

The Art Director Jeremy Jeresky partners with LUSO Community Services Youth Worker; Meagan Warwick, to operate this program in the Northeast. This program has grown greatly within the past three months, which has been such a rewarding experience for both the participants involved, and the instructors. Beacock Library was chosen as the location in the Northeast, as they work very closely with many community partners.

School of Colour Exhibits on display during the Official Opening of Beacock Library's Reading GardensThis space is also recognized as very familiar and safe for families and their children. It is easily accessible and has an abundance of space that is able to be utilized for the youth while doing their art projects! The NSOC Youth Program also operates in partnership with four other locations, and the youth workers at those locations:

  1. South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre- Tuesdays-6-8pm
  2. Westminster Central Public School- Thursdays- 3:30-5pm
  3. Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre- Thursdays-5-7pm
  4. Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre- Fridays- 3:30-5pm

Aside from youth programming, NSOC operates at two other locations:

  1. Ark Aid Street Mission- Mondays- 5-8:30pm  (open to all ages: seniors, youth, and families)
  2. My Sisters Place- Wednesdays- 10-11:30am  (women only)

Budding artist young and older share the same passionThe structure of each weekly session is generally the same at each location throughout London. There is one main lesson (project) introduced to all participants. Once the lesson has been taught to the group, everyone has the opportunity to practice what they have been taught and create their project. It is a very hands on and interactive set-up! There are also smaller project stations for the youth to work on once they have finished the main project. Each lesson is very open for interpretation and adaptation. Over the course of our sessions, participants have been able to learn a great deal of Art History, as well as many other different forms of art (painting, sculpture, narrative, etc.)School of Colour Exhibit 3

Overall, NSOC is a place where creative expression is encouraged and welcome! The Youth Program will resume in the New Year, on Wednesday, January 15/2014 at Beacock Library from 6-8pm! The expectations for the program is to really allow participants do a great deal of artistic exploration, by offering engaging art projects. It is also a plan to incorporate a literacy component within the program, to allow more learning opportunities!

The New School of Colour art program is something that not only the Northeast community has been involved with, but communities all over the City of London. We are very excited to see what the year 2014 has in store!

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