Welcome to the website of Susan M. Coles, Artist & Arts, Creativity & Educational Consultant.

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I seem to have been on such a whirlwind of events that I need to sit and try and capture some of that in this blog. I completed the assemblies for the Ed Ruscha show at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle. That means the “word” went out to students from as far and wide as Ashington and Bishop Auckland. The Easter workshops were full with young artists who signed up, they even had top ut extra classes on. It’s a great example of what Artist’s Rooms has to offer to the provinces.
Artist’s Rooms explained

And now, I am busy recruiting teachers and educators to come to the Grayson Perry Show “The Vanity of Small Differences” at the Sunderland Art Gallery and Winter Gardens. I saw this collection in London and was blown away by the sheer scale and the intricacy of detail.

News of the exhibition

As well as hoping to get enthusiasm going just for the show itself, we have a great Teacher CPD on Saturday 29th June, starting at 10 and running until 1p.m . You have to see this to appreciate why everyone in Sunderland is getting so excited: All in the best possible Taste

Then we also have the Lindisfarne Gospels coming to Durham, the -re-opening of the National Glass Centre after it’s re-furbishment, the next NEATEN (North East Art Teacher/Educator Network) at Baltic, 13th June 4:30 to 6:30p.m

I also went to Guernsey to run the first ever NSEAD Art , Craft and Design CPD with Judy Grahame. We were lucky to have a great location and also a host of enthusiastic primary and secondary teachers. Judy worked with the primary colleagues on making art accessible to all. My thread in the afternoon secondary session was about matching the Art, Craft and Design Curriculum to the 21st century. We very much hope to make this type of CPD on the Channel Islands a regular event. My thanks go to Guernsey Education department who made this all possible.

Last week was the big Yorkshire/Humber event hosted by CapeUK, in Sheffield. The theme again was the curriculum.
Cape UK event details

The audience of primary, secondary, artists, educators and gallery staff were given their opportunity to debate this and had time to look analytically at the current reductive and uninspiring DFE proposal for an Art and Design curriuclum. Their own group “proposals” were meatier, creative, fun, more relevant and engaging. I put the 2013 model into the context of other models over the past 25 years, and also showed how comprehensive research can back up the need for a creative curriculum. Teachers find it hard to get out of school for anything these days so it was great to see so many there and to watch and hear the debates going on. Well done CapeUK for just giving them opportunities to do this. Networking is essential for CPD, for communication, for sharing knowledge, for making us feel that we are part of one voice. As one teacher said to me “I feel very lonely in my school. I need days like this to get me out of my bubble and remind me why I do this in the first place.”

I have also been annoyed with Messrs Gove and Wilshaw this month, but today is a sensible catch up blog, which means that I am going to save up my sense of outrage to a later date. I watched an art teacher almost fall asleep when we were marking GCSE work last week, she had been at school every night until 8p.m, was writing reports, teaching all her lessons, and then staying behind to mark her work. That is dedication. That is why Mr Gove and Mr Wilshaw need to stop their constant sniping and undermining of teacher confidence. You wouldn’t understand a learning objective if it hit you in the face dear Michael(s).



3287 days ago

Enjoyed your blog and wonder when you might get to my part of the country? I am in Lincolnshire. We don’t have a lot ging on here art CPD wise.


3285 days ago

Ruth- join our NSEAD Online Facebook page so that we can start to connect you to other people in your area. That’s a start!

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