Woking artist Joanne McConnell

With the government aiming to promote culture and friendship in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, young artists across the country are being funded to run inspirational courses.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2011

With the government aiming to promote culture and friendship in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, young artists across the country are being funded to run inspirational courses.

One such individual is 22-year-old Woking resident Joanne McConnell whose Art in Action project has been awarded the Inspire mark – London 2012’s official programme to recognise outstanding non-commercial projects.

“Throughout February, I’ve been spending time in care and residential homes in the Woking area with groups who have been using paint and clay to create works with a British theme,” says Jo. “There will be a final showcase of all the work created at the Winston Churchill School sports centre in St Johns, Woking.”

As well as inspiring those who visit the final exhibition, she is hoping that her courses will make a real difference.

“Art allows interaction without words and frees the communication between two individuals from the barriers of language,” says Jo. “Art is often an activity that many elderly people didn’t believe they were capable of, which can boost confidence and produce results that they are really proud of.”  

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A landscape painter in her own right, anyone who visited last year’s Surrey Open Art Exhibition at The Lightbox in Woking, may have seen her work – she was placed in the top three and came second in the people’s prize.

For more, e-mail joannasaartist@hotmail.co.uk 

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