Aleysha Mcquade, Bronze Arts Award achiever

Looking for inspiration? Why not check out Aleysha's Bronze Arts Award story.

Aleysha Mcquade, Bronze Arts Award achiever

What levels of Arts Award did you do?                                                                  

I have achieved 3 Bronze Arts Awards and I’m currently working towards my Gold Award. My Bronze Awards were achieved through a 6 week Art and Design Club, a summer school and a photography holiday club all at UCA Canterbury. During my time at UCA I was also presented with the opportunity to achieve my Gold Award, which I was extremely happy to start. 

0ac3f5beb84833177b23a99312ad7abbd4ccde5f.PNGWhat art forms did you take part in?

The art forms I participated in at the Art and Design Club were zine/collage making, clay slabs, stop motion animation and drawing. The main focus of the summer school was around sculpture. We made and designed plant pots, clay slabs again and we also used paints. 

During my most recent Bronze Award with the photography holiday club, we learnt how to create photograms using a dark room and cyanotypes. I found this really intriguing because I love photography and I am now studying it for my Gold Award. 

What events did you go to?

The events I visited through Arts Award are the Turner Contemporary, Oden Cinema and the film “Yesterday” that came out this year. The film made me fall in love with the Beatles I really enjoyed the movie. The Shell Grotto, 1927 Workshop and the Beaney gallery in Canterbury are all really good days out.

Who were your arts inspirations, and did you interview any arts professionals? 

For Part C, I included Mark Powell, an artist who works with ballpoint pens and his pieces often depict meaningful stories. I also included my favourite fashion designer Gianni Versace: I found his beautiful designs were elegant and cultured.

How did you share skills or lead projects?

I shared one of my leadership projects by presenting a class to my group in the photography darkroom class. It was scary at first because I am a shy person, but everyone was patient and understanding, so I started to feel more relaxed. At the Art and Design Club we taught people a wide range of art forms in the Beaney Gallery. 

What kind of portfolio did you create? 

I created a varied portfolio. A lot of my work featured drawings.

What was most valuable to you personally?

I feel as though learning the new art forms and getting new experiences in the arts was really valuable to me. Also, I found that growing my confidence and social skills were valuable because it can be very difficult having Asperger’s. 

What did you find inspiring? 

I found the appreciation and lack of judgement that people showed for different artistic styles to be very inspiring. I was also inspired when I learnt more about the arts community, and what it would mean to work in the arts. 

What are you going to do next – and has Arts Award helped you?

I’m waiting to do more workshops at the Royal Academy of Arts in London; a catalogue of my artwork will be featured next year, which is very exciting. 

I hope to do more with Arts Awards because I feel like it’s such a good opportunity for young artists. Any opportunity that comes my way I will take it. I’m very thankful to be a part of  Arts Award as it has grown my portfolio hugely. 

How did you get involved with Arts Award?

I first got involved with Arts Award through my art teacher giving me a leaflet about the Art and Design Club back in April. She recommended I take up the opportunity as she felt it would broaden my horizons. 

After that club was over, I was buzzing to start something new and luckily another opportunity was advertised on UCA’s website.

Who gave you the most help and inspiration?

My Mum gave me the most help with Arts Award as she helped me with ideas, motivated me and took me on quite long drives to visit different places. She’s always been the biggest lover and supporter of my work. She inspires me to work harder. 


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