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Tate Modern to offer free art lessons and lectures

10th January 2017

London’s notorious Tate Modern art gallery is joining forces with art college Central St Martins (CSM) to provide free lessons and lectures to those who visit, it has been reported. 

The gallery will be transformed into a huge free art school that allows members of the public to enrol in classes and workshops. Here, CSM staff, students and alumni will be available to deal with any requests. 

The ‘This Is An Art School’ project is part of a wider Exchange programme which includes working alongside the Open University to analyse issues surrounding immigration, a study of homelessness led by ex-servicemen who ended up living on the streets, and a look at life in former coalfields in Kent and Wales.

Other events include an exciting fashion show involving clothes made from rubbish left on the streets of London and a conference about women in art culture. 

The free art lessons are part of an attempt to make Tate Modern and its huge collection more accessible to the public. The gallery’s director Frances Morris said it would allow visitors to "explore for themselves how art can inform and enrich our understanding of the world".

Many groups are providing financial support to the project, including Elisabeth Murdoch’s Freelands Foundation, set up in 2015. The foundation was created to support artists across the globe and promote public interest in the arts. 

Ms Murdoch described the programmes as a “remarkable initiative”. She went on to say: "We see this as an investment in the future, where art is able to contribute to society, and society supports the creation of art."

The project will be live everyday until January 16th, outlining what CSM’s believes is “a systematic assault on arts education in the UK”.

Programme leader at CSM, Alex Schady, believes that in today’s world, art is increasingly being isolated in the school timetable and creativity is being dismissed as peripheral. 

Those who enrol in the Tate school will be able get involved in workshops, seminars and lectures and there will be over 100 lessons plans and zones that could see students involved in a life-drawing lesson or performance workshop. But becoming an art student or artist isn’t what the project is about with organisers arguing that it is about experiencing the arts. 

Anna Cutler, Tate’s director of Learning, said: "This is an exchange between what the public brings and what we bring to the conversation. Our visitors carry their own culture with them and can use museums and galleries as creative spaces for exploring what that means.

"Using art in its many forms, the public and Tate Exchange Associates will shine a spotlight on the challenging issues facing the contemporary world."

Tate Modern director, Sir Nicholas Serota, said that the gallery had a commitment to developing new ways of reaching audiences and collaborating. 

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