Mental health and wellbeing through creativity
The Open Arts studio is now closed and courses are postponed until further notice due to COVID-19.
Open Arts has gone virtual!
During the covid 19 ‘lock-in’, we’ve kept the dream alive by creating a lively, interactive, online space through social media platforms and the good old telephone.
Open Arts studio members are keeping in touch with each other, sharing their artwork and supporting one another, from their own homes.
A selection of work our members have created and shared can be seen here
Part 2 https://youtu.be/P5Q_D0VgcaU
* ‘lock in’ sounds more fun than ‘lockdown’
Please like/follow our Facebook/Instagram/Twitter accounts @OpenArtsEssex to keep in touch and watch our Open Arts Promotion film https://youtu.be/AXrFkRhEG1A
Open Arts is a community arts and mental health service run as one of the charities managed within the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. The service has the aim of promoting positive well being and social inclusion for people with mental health difficulties and to carers who would like to engage with the wider community through the creative arts within a group setting. The courses offer an opportunity to learn new creative skills and techniques within a safe and supportive
What We Do
Courses are open to anyone with a mental health problem and also to carers. Courses
are facilitated by a professional lead artist with support from volunteer art assistants,
and held in community locations rather than clinical settings to promote social inclusion.
A representative from the local college information, guidance and advice service attends
in the final weeks of the course, to signpost on to further educational and vocational
opportunities, facilitating a smooth transition to maintain social inclusion. At the end of
the 12 week course, a six month studio placement is offered for independent art making
within the same supportive studio environment. The studio time is used to continue to
develop and improve what participants learned on their 12 week course through
development of their arts practice with the support of studio managers and their peers
Participants are also encouraged to visit a gallery with the group and take part in a
workshop within the gallery space. If they take up the studio placement they have the
opportunity to work towards exhibiting in local art trails and open day events.
How We Help
Our courses include taster sessions in visual arts, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, creative writing and crafts. We also offer drama, digital arts and photography courses that help develop new skills and confidence. But most importantly, we offer a positive and productive environment that has been part of many people's recovery.
Who is it for?
All our participants are people aged 16 or older, who have either experienced mental health problems or are a carer.
Volunteering with Open Arts
We are always delighted to have new people join us as volunteers. Our volunteers are highly valued as key members of the team. Please contact us to talk about what you could do, and find out how to apply.