Annual Community Art Project
The TST Community Art Project was founded in 2018 as an annual initiative to bring together young people from the Trust’s five schools with older local residents and community groups through inspirational art and creativity. Its central aims are to:-
- Break down barriers between the generations, enable greater social interaction and help to build intergenerational friendships
- Support the mental health and wellbeing of the community through the therapeutic benefits of art – something that has become even more important over the last year as a result of the pandemic
- Enable older people to share their experiences and community knowledge with the younger generation
- Create great art to be shared with the community and visitors to Tenterden
The 2021 TST Community Arts Project ‘Looking back, moving forward’ was our biggest yet, involving hundreds of local people from all generations, supported by the town and borough councils and Visit Kent, and culminating in a two-week art ‘take-over’ of the town from 3-16 July. The theme not only celebrated the reopening of the high street after a year like no other but also the 60th anniversary of the preserved Kent and East Sussex railway.
The town station hosted the centre piece of the event: a unique art installation devised by international artist and former Homewood student Sam Cox aka Mr Doodle, made up 185 separate panels which only came together at the exhibition. It was accompanied by an exhibition of the exceptional work of talented Homewood School A level and GCSE artists, while on the platform passengers were greeted by a sea of smiling portraits and waving hands. There was also a display of Humanities project work by Homewood students, covering the evolution of the Kent & East Sussex railway, housed in the information room opposite the ticket office.
The work of students from the Trust’s primary schools was on display in the new open layout of St Mildred’s Church; there was an exhibition of humanities work from Homewood students at the Museum, while the high street became one long picture gallery as dozens of Tenterden businesses and shops signed up to display portrait art in their windows and decorated flower planters outside their premises.
Everything was listed on an official art trail map, copies of which were available at the main exhibition locations. Children who completed the quiz on the map were able to receive a special reward sticker when they handed it in at the end of the art trail at St Mildred’s Church.