28 September 2021

Contents of First Art Club kit including tote bag, newsletter and embroidery kit from Cotton Clara

First Art has launched a new remote art club for Clay Cross residents.

The Club has been made possible thanks to funding from Derbyshire County Council’s Public Health Covid Recovery Fund.

Aptly named First Art Club, the Club is aimed at encouraging people to keep creatively active and help those struggling with loneliness and mental health issues, something that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Club offers people a chance to try out different art activities from regular kits delivered to their doorsteps. Each kit is focused on a specific medium and contains all the recipient needs to complete the activity.

Karl Greenwood, First Art Director said:

Enabling people to be part of something and try their hand at something new and creative are in-roads to tackling social isolation. First Art Club is focused on bringing people together, albeit remotely, in a shared activity that helps them to feel more connected with others in their community.

Materials and tutorials are not always easy to access, especially if they require some sort of financial outlay so the First Art Club Kits are provided to members completely free of charge.

We want to give people the chance to try out different creative arts activities without having to spend money on materials or go to a studio or similar, making such things – and their benefits – more accessible.

Well informed

As well as all the materials, each Kit has a newsletter featuring detailed instructions for the activity and more information about that particular art form.

There’s also interviews and tips from artists working in that medium, as well as a round up of some of the cultural things happening in Clay Cross that members might be interested in.

Persron holding a completed embroidery in a hoop with a yellow background and red stitching with the words We Rise By Lifting Others. There is also a picture of two hands and rays of sunshine

‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ completed embroidery, designed by Cotton Clara Image © Cotton Clara

A contemporary twist

The first Kit, sent out in mid-August, is a modern take on embroidery featuring a simple but cheerful design by Cotton Clara.

The finished piece is a bright yellow background with red detailing and the words ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’.

Come together

One of the First Art Club members got in touch to let us know that they and several other members were able to come together to complete and enjoy their embroidery kits in a social setting.

Lady stitching embroidery and a collection of part completed embroideries

Some members were able to come together to complete their kits. Images © Christine Coffey

Future plans

Future kits will include pottery and lino printing and it’s hoped a face to face gathering with all the members will be possible in the near future.

Find out more about First Art Club and the Kits here