At Hareclive we have the first purpose built Room 13 in the world. This architecturally acclaimed RIBA award winning building provides an independent artists’ studio available to all our children.
The original Room 13 was set up in Caol Primary School, Fort William, in 1994 by a group of students at the school. Room 13 now encompasses an expanding network of linked studios worldwide who share their work and their thinking. Each Room 13 studio has an artist in residence working alongside the children, providing an exchange of ideas, skills and experience across the ages.
Our Room 13 was opened in September 2003, after a visit to Room 13 Caol Primary School in Fort William. Parents, governors and senior staff including the headteacher were a part of this visit as were Shani Ali and Paul Bradley – our artists in residence.
Shani and Paul help facilitate the work of younger artists. Children go to the studio to draw, paint, collage, sculpt, take photographs, make films, research, read and work on the computer. In Room 13, children are free to follow their own ideas and work on their own creative projects.
The management team
The current team consists of 15 children from Years 5 and 6 and they are responsible for the running of Room 13. It is their job to run a shop, raise funds for art materials, keep Room 13 fully stocked with resources, make decisions about what happens in the space and liaise directly with Miss Richardson about anything that might need to involve the academy.
They are also responsible for recruiting new team members through applications, short-listing and selection.
Our studio is democratically run by the children who use it, working as equal team members alongside adults.
Within Room 13, children have written and presented speeches at lots of places including Cambridge University and Tate Modern. They have taken part in exhibitions locally, city wide and nationally. They have won commissions and have been co researchers with the University of Bristol.
Room 13 has an open door policy to all children, of whatever age or ability. Pupils can go to the studio during lunch and break times on the days it is open and, importantly, pupils can also use the studio in class times. The only criteria is that children must want to go, must negotiate any time off with their teacher and must ensure that all class work is up to date.
Room 13 is a truly innovative project that offers a different way of learning. It starts with the interests of the children, gives them space and responsibility and engages them in real life experiences.
Through working on their art, discussing ideas, answering emails, using the computer and running the shop, children naturally develop their numeracy and literacy skills, become confident in their own ideas and feel able to ask questions.
Click here for the latest Room 13 news and photos.
There are many more projects in the pipeline, so watch this space!