Welcome to The United Art Project

Hello Picassos! Welcome to The United Art Project website!

Created FOR the people of West Yorkshire, BY the people of West Yorkshire.

We are a Community Interest Company that designs and facilitates tailored Art and wellbeing experiences for our local communities!

We aim to splash lots of colour all over the place and so, our work is all about the artistic process and the messy fun!

Kayle is a HCPC registered Dramatherapist and mentor and Sarah is a professional photographer with a degree in Fine Art. Together we make a great team using our specialisms to develop and facilitate therapeutic and engaging activities that are captured for their originality and authenticity.

The United Art Project is designed for all; and adding therapeutic and psychotherapeutic components to compliment the artistic creative expression is a potential key to unlocking personal issues and public concerns in our communities. We also offer Arts Psychotherapy services to either stand alone as an intervention, or to compliment your artistic, creative and reflexive needs.

Who, What and Why.

WHO are we?

The United Art Project is made up of Kayle, a freelance HCPC Dramatherapist and Sarah a freelance fine artist and photographer. Kayle and Sarah want to use their skillset, theoretical knowledge and experience to create artistically creative experiences for local communities that will unite individuals and offer new explorative opportunities. We are also 1/3 of The Holmewood Collective.

We (The United Art Project) have worked with lots of fabulous organisations and services across Bradford district – these include @Sarahfearnephotography, @LEAPBD @Youthjusticeservice, @SpinArts, @The Sutton Centre, @OutLOUD ltd, @Trapezium Art Gallery, @Bradford Cathedral, @Wibsey Community Garden, TFD-Holmewood, St Christophers Church and Bradford housing associations. We have designed and spraypainted shutters, Theatre Backdrops and set, Community sports halls. We have painted in the woods, in car parks and parks, in Bradford Centenary square, and in community halls and schools. We have also been commissioned to host therapeutic summer holiday camp sessions as part of a HAF project and are facilitating ongoing therapeutic art sessions with children displaced by war.

WHAT do we do?

The United Art Project is founded upon 5 pillars of operation, its purpose is to facilitate unique and bespoke experiences that offer: ‘Art for Free’, ‘Art to Unite’, ‘Art to Heal’, ‘Art to Aspire’ and ‘Art to Seek’.

The aim is to provide free and easy access to art, painting and other forms of creative expression to members who are willing to engage with our services and projects. We will continue to manifest the belief that access to arts and its process should be made available for all to experience and partake in regardless of social economic status, age, or level of ability. Our art experiences do not and will not exclude any form of free-thinking, exploration, or representation within our society!

Art For Free – This pillar is the most obvious for us. To make artistic opportunities available and accessible to anyone wishing to engage – regardless of socio-economic status. To facilitate free and uniting art experiences in unusual, local, quirky and accessible areas of the North, where art isn’t ‘usually’ found. To bridge the gap between art and aesthetics, and art as a process. Our first project sent free art materials to Bradford households so that no family or individual would be denied membership to the project due to not having the tools to join in (be it thorough affordability or non-exposure to art). Offering Art for free became our ultimate mission and from this pillar of operation, we have secured and created several other ‘free art’ projects. 

Art To Unite – To sustain a wholly inclusive approach to Art expression and creativity, with emphasis towards promoting access to disadvantaged or/and vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, people going through a rehabilitation process; people with life limiting conditions, the elderly, the local youth, people on low incomes and people displaced by war and economic migration.  We aim to promote the healthy balance between body and mind through creative exploration and to endorse an environment of unity and cohesion to members of different demographic areas and cultures that may not have previously connected. Projects will revolve around community paint sessions to ‘unite’ individuals of a community and endorse togetherness and mutuality among the diverse and multicultural landscape of the North.

Art to Heal – To promote health and wellbeing through creative expression. To utilise the healing properties of art making to strengthen community relationships and to offer a space of transformation and healing for individuals accessing our projects.

Art to Aspire – To support community groups and individual members that aim to increase their aspirations in the Arts sector. To develop the skills, understanding of; and expertise of art making; and to harness the creative abilities of a community that could lead to the development of local Professional artists. To inspire and support local communities to engage in meaningful change via the process of art and creative expression. 

Art to Seek – To encourage the development of awe and wonderment within the communities we serve. To remain curious about our body, mind, and environment; and to use art and the Arts to explore the answers to our curious questions. Here we offer an artistic spin on qualitative and quantitative methods of research, inquiry and data capture.  

WHY do we do it?

Because ‘YOU ARE A PICASSO’ – The United Art Project tag line is ‘I am a Picasso’ and you will see us address our creatives in such an optimistic way because we also believe that language is important and we can be just as creative through our words, as with the brush on the canvas! We believe that the more we tell you that you can paint, imagine and design – the quicker you will start to believe it! We have in our previous projects used this incentivised language as a tool to encourage new (and sometimes fearful) members of the community to join us – and it has worked!

Throughout our existence, The United Art Project has become to realise that there isn’t a lot of local artistic and creative opportunities outside of school and education settings for children and adults. So, for the last few years we have been bringing ‘it’ back into the community – to the very origins of development and accessibility. Kayle grew up on the Holmewood estate in Bradford and so has learnt (from her own childhood and from working on an estate) that there needs to be more sustained creative opportunities offered in local community areas if any resident is to reap the social, economic, aspirational, and mental health benefits of such creative interventions.

Testimonials

“Would like to say a big thankyou to you both!
The girls really enjoyed taking part in your summer paint sessions. My youngest didn’t like to go out much because of COVID and has really enjoyed coming down and taking part the groups were fantastic” 

“Well done to everyone in the last session making the giants game was lovely to see everyone join in and create some amazing art work”

“Thankyou! The girls really enjoyed them selves my oldest one has autism and younger one awaiting diagnosis and your paint sessions were perfect for them was nice and not too many people for them they loved it”
“Paint more, make more – do what you love as well as what you have to”

“This Project has confirmed how awesome Bradford is”

“Because of this Project, I’ll allocate more time to paint”
“Last time I painted with oils or any art material was in 1973!! My O-level school exam came straight back at me 😊. I am really pleased I applied to join and I cannot wait to view them all”

“I have realized I’m quite a good artist and I would like to do it again”

“I think its very special that a project like this has been organized – I have seen more enthusiasm of everyone involved and how encouraging everyone has been to each other”

Our Projects

Project one – Response#1 – May 2020

This project was the start of something beautiful! United Art Project | The Peace Museum (rit.org.uk) Bradford United Art project connects painters young and old | Bradford Telegraph and Argus (thetelegraphandargus.co.uk)

Whilst the world was experiencing a lock down, the Bradford Council opened up a RESPONSE fund to get creative, and so we did!

All qualifying households comprised of those isolating alone, or in households of 5 persons max (due to funding). The husbands and wives, the mums, the dads, the sons and daughters, the grandmas and grandads: the NHS staff, the fiancées, the furloughed, the self-employed; the whole community of Bradford and the borders were involved. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that at some point on the ‘paint day’ another family, in another household were painting at the same time…they were not alone!

All 120 participants agreed to be available on the same date (Tuesday 26th May 2020) where the mass 24-hour, midnight-to-midnight painting session commenced.

The project included a handful of 4-5yr olds and a 93yr old gentleman who found our advertisement in the Telegraph and Argus! From this project he was featured in the local T&A himself AND appeared on the ‘Not Just Hockney’ website – how fantastic!

We see Project 1 as a monumental piece of history to be revered for years to come, and a definite asset for Bradford’s ‘City of Culture 2025’ bid.

Enjoy the Masterpieces – created by a group of modern-day Picasso’s.

Project Two – Summer Unlocked – August 2021

In August 2021 – Over a year from Project 1 – The United Art Project won a SECOND bid with the Bradford Council for the Summer holidays.

For Six weeks – the project took to the beautiful Bradford outdoors and nestled itself in one of the biggest Estates in West Yorkshire – Holmewood!

A plethora of children and young person, adult only, older people, and family Picasso paint sessions were designed and developed for the local and wider communities to really feel like a Picasso! Easels were set up, and paint stations laid out.

Picnic paints, sunrise paints, woodland paints saw families UNITING from different areas of Bradford! Their excitement and their energy combined made for some pretty unique and spectacular paint sessions.

A Paint-day takeaway kit – inspired from Project 1- was also offered to those members who did not wish to physically join in the outdoor session due to shielding, and practical matters. Here the members picked up their ‘Takeaway’ and designed their very own Picasso Paint session- much like the sessions in May 2020.

The masterpieces were photographed by Sarah and a small weekly, fun ‘Picasso Competition’ saw members win a mug, T-shirt, bag, or key ring with their winning masterpiece on the front! 

Project Three – ‘Paint on the Parade’ – March 2022

‘Paint on the Parade’ was funded by the Bradford council and a host of other partnerships. Together as a team: The United Art Project and OutLOUD Ltd combined their skills, expertise and creative vision to manage a great street art project that would benefit the Holmewood community. Several creative workshops made sure that we saw the vision of the estate so we could give the people what they wanted. With the fantastic talent of street artists @cortisolkid and @rotaone – the bottom parade of shops on the Holmewood estate has been transformed into a quirky and vibrant hub. All the residents using the local amenities were thrilled at our efforts and we thank those who showered us with praise, motivation and cups of coffee for the two weeks we were on site; we even had the Telegraph and Argus feature us in the newspaper!

Incredible new look for shop shutters in Holme Wood | Bradford Telegraph and Argus (thetelegraphandargus.co.uk)

If you venture down to the bottom parade – make sure you take a selfie with the Dino – Holmewood’s very own ‘selfie’ dinosaur!

Project Four – Jubilee Paint- June 2022

This project had members of Victoria Park in Oakenshaw come and experience one of our Picasso paint opportunities – to celebrate the Queens Jubilee. Both children and adults sat on the grass or at an easel and painted their Masterpiece!

Project Five – Pop Up Exhibition – September 2022

This project was funded by the Bradford Council. It was the end to a fantastically long await! After two years of storing the 120 canvases – The United Art Project FINALLY received the necessary support and funding to stage its very own Pop Up Exhibition. The 120 canvases painted in Project 1 were now going to be exhibited across three Bradford locations – Wibsey Community Garden, Trapezium Art Galley and Bradford Cathedral. We saw lots of new potential Picassos come to look at the masterpieces and offer some feedback on what they saw, and on project 1 itself. We also had some original Picasso members come to look at their masterpieces and meet – 2 years later- other Picasso members! It was a wonderful emotional weekend, seeing the 2020 vision playing out is such quirky and awe-striking environments.

Project Six – The Holmewood Collective

Funded by The LEAP and ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND. This 10 month project saw The United Art project team up with OutLOUD and The Sutton centre in the BD4 area of Bradford. We introduced a Creative Cash award into the area and local residents applied to receive between £50 – £200 to either continue, or start up a creative endeavour. These ranged from Guitar lessons, fairy door making, prop design materials and wellbeing craft sessions. The United Art Project worked with several community members in face paint and set design workshops and this Art group went on to create and design parts of the very first Holmewood Collective Holmewood Christmas Festival where over 500 local residents attended. A fantastic all round community experience!

Commissioned Work

Nurturing Creativity CIC and Northern Art Factory

Northern Arts and Nurturing Creativity CIC – since 2021 and as part of their healthy holidays work – The United Art Project has been invited to host our bespoke ‘Picasso Paint’ Workshops for the Nurturing Creativity young members. These are fantastic 1-hour workshops that lead the children on a journey of becoming present in the space, with the canvas, paint and imagination.   

Badth Conference

“We were invited to create a workshop for Health Care professionals at an annual Dramatherapy Conference” The sessions involved CPD aspects – utilising the Art modality to explore current feelings, reflect upon workload and express it.

Horton Housing

In 2022 we hosted a summer ‘Picasso Paint’ workshops for a large group of children who have been displaced by war and who are residing in the local area. In 2023 we continue our relationship with Horton Housing and the families by facilitating ongoing therapeutic art group workshops for a small number of young people living in the area (12-17yrs). We have also had the pleasure of celebrating Eid and #refugeeweek2023 with the families. 

What’s Coming in 2023?

The Holmewood Collectives HWDFEST:23 is coming to Knowles Park on 22nd July – 11-3pm. for more info visit our facebook or instagram page

We are nearly finished on a @Bradforcouncil funded mural project called ‘The Wall Says it All’ – we cant wait to show you!

We have been facilitating therapeutic paint sessions with young people displaced by war since January 2023. 

The H.E.ARTists Collective have finished their GCSEs and College exams and are ready to continue building their Arty repertoires.

We recently completed a Theatre backdrop, staging and prop painting for @SpinArts – Go take a look! Its fabulous!

Make an Enquiry

 The United Art Project is a Community Association, working primarily in the local community, creating, developing and facilitating arty events and opportunities for Bradford and surrounding areas. We believe every ‘Picasso’ painter deserves the opportunity to engage in and (for some people) ‘unlock’ their artistic ability and potential. We aim to form as many creatively inspired groups as possible to unite in Art and creative expression, to share their experience and to be amongst those who want to give it a try.

We rely on funded grants to help us on our mission to improve, maintain, endorse good mental health and wellbeing through exploration of many therapeutically artistic mediums, hence why we will put our hand to any form of creative and artistic project! 

All questions and feedback are greatly received as we continue to develop and grow with the communities we serve.

11 + 8 =

United Art Blog

This is a new feature of the United Art project web page – Click here to read all about our endeavours and our reflections on our work!