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New art school hopes to educate and enrich Norfolk’s artist community

A new art school, The Art Practitioner, is launching in Norwich. This is a piece from the school's co-founder Jacques Nimki, 'Ikon Eastside Meadow' (flowers, grasses, earth). Picture: C/O Stephanie Douet

A new art school, The Art Practitioner, is launching in Norwich. This is a piece from the school's co-founder Jacques Nimki, 'Ikon Eastside Meadow' (flowers, grasses, earth). Picture: C/O Stephanie Douet

C/O Stephanie Douet

A new art school to help bring together and educate Norfolk’s “fragmented” artist community is preparing to launch with an exhibition in the county.

A new art school, The Art Practitioner, is launching with an exhibition in Norwich. This is a work from co-founder of the school Stephanie Douet, called 'The Year Before the Mutiny' (acrylic on paper and plywood). Picture C/O Stephanie DouetA new art school, The Art Practitioner, is launching with an exhibition in Norwich. This is a work from co-founder of the school Stephanie Douet, called 'The Year Before the Mutiny' (acrylic on paper and plywood). Picture C/O Stephanie Douet

The Art Practitioner will offer opportunities for tutoring and peer criticism to active and budding professional artists.

It has been co-founded by Jacques Nimki and Stephanie Douet, practising artists working in Norfolk, who aim to help reduce the isolation which artists can experience and provide a more specialised learning platform.

Ms Douet, a former art teacher who completed a Masters degree in the 1990s at the then-Norwich School of Art and Design, said: “There are quite a lot of schools being started by artists to supply this need for something more advanced for artists to study.

“We thought we would like to do something which was very focused on the individual needs of each student, drawing out from them what they are capable of doing.”

A new art school, The Art Practitioner, is launching with an exhibition in Norwich. Among the exhibiting artists will be Sigrid Holmwood - this is a still from her video 'Cultivating Colour'. Picture: C/O Stephanie DouetA new art school, The Art Practitioner, is launching with an exhibition in Norwich. Among the exhibiting artists will be Sigrid Holmwood - this is a still from her video 'Cultivating Colour'. Picture: C/O Stephanie Douet

She added: “There are about 900 practising artists in Norfolk but it is a world of growing isolation. What people often say they want is peer group criticism. That is the sort of thing we want to address.”

The Art Practitioner will offer two year-long intensive teaching courses: a foundation course, and a mentoring course of around seven sessions.

Alongside the classes there will be talks and advice on professional practice, outings to exhibitions, and exhibitions by the students at venues around Norfolk.

Ms Douet said the learning programme at the school – which is set to take its first cohort of up to 12 students in April 2019 – could be shaped to fit the students, exploring media like photography and performance.

The courses will be open to artists in Norfolk and beyond, with the school able to make accommodation arrangements for students coming in from outside the region.

To mark the launch of the school Mr Nimki and Ms Douet are holding an event at St Mary’s Works in Norwich, where 19 regional and national artists who will teach at the school will exhibit their work.

A third of all money made from sales at the exhibition will go towards funding the art school.

There is a preview evening on Friday, November 23 from 6pm to 8pm, and the exhibition will run from Saturday, November 24 to Friday, November 30.

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