The streets of Kelso are buzzing as a huge new public artwork by local nine to 12-year-olds is about to be unveiled.
FAZ – the Friday Art Zone – is an art sculpture by the Kelso Youth Project, in which 14 budding Damien Hirsts and Tracey Emins started an artistic journey of discovery that will end with a giant artwork being unveiled and displayed at the town’s Sainsbury’s store, before it begins its tour of the Borders.
David Harvey, chair of Cheviot Youth, who manage the Kelso Youth Project, said: “This is a pilot project which will use the medium of art to encourage teamwork, improve social skills and boost confidence, while celebrating the children’s achievement.”
The FAZ will, over the next eight weeks, see the design and creation of a large artwork that will be made entirely from clean waste materials.
The children will take plastics, wood, metal and paper waste products and use these materials to make something unique and quite wonderful.
The project is being run in partnership with Penumbra Youth Project and Sainsbury’s, with help from local companies Forbes and Mainetti.
Will Pitcairn, store manager at Kelso Sainsbury’s, said: “We are pleased to be part of this excellent project and, like Cheviot Youth, recognise how important it is to play our part in making a positive contribution to our local community.
“I and all my colleagues wish the children all the very best for their art project and look forward to seeing the finished work in our store in eight weeks’ time.”
The pupils from Edenside and Broomlands primary schools are starting to talk and think about the design and creation of their artwork after an excellent start to the project saw them come together in a variety of introductory and team-building games.
Anja Raeburn, a Kelso Youth Project youth worker, commented on how well the children had worked together.
She said: “We were so pleased with the commitment shown, the hard work and maturity of all members of the group, and feel that we are going to produce something very special.”
She added: “I can’t wait to see what the children decide to make.”
Cheviot Youth is planning a similar art project for Jedburgh in the early new year and would like to hear from anyone who might be interested in receiving the end-of-project report from Kelso.
To get a copy of this report, to find out more about Cheviot Youth, or to be put on the Kelso and Jedburgh event and activity mailing list, email Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org