Connecting with the local community in and around Putney is an immensely important part of the work and activities of the Friends.
The primary purpose of promoting the School and safeguarding the interests of all enrolled students expands into the broader neighbourhood as well as whole of London scene. The Friends arranges a number of activities promoting the School throughout the year, including masterclasses, exhibitions, lectures and social gatherings. These are not restricted solely to the School but to a much wider audience, with a focus on creative activities to inspire, motivate and enable as many artists and future artists as possible.
As one of the last remaining purpose-built art schools in London, the School is a popular and welcoming place for students and anyone interested in becoming one. The wide reach of the School has been underpinnedby the Friends’ endeavours and efforts to popularise and promote art in the community.
Some of the most notable community events in the past few years have been the annual Putney Art Exhibition held in the Putney Exchange atrium, The Christmas Fair, an annual celebration of the varied and exciting new work offered by the students, tutors and community artists, The Seed Pot Totem Poles, a collection of ceramic totems created for the roof terrace of the St George’s Hospital Garden, the Putney Oars, art initiative organised by the local business platform Positively Putney with the aim to celebrate Putney being the home of rowing and the Boat Race.
We have also been collaborating with and participating in many other events in Wandsworth and beyond, such as the Putney Artists Open House, the Wandsworth Artists open House, the Wandsworth Art, the Estate Art Roehampton Project, among many others. The Wednesday Isolationists is a group of Putney artists and friends who meet on Wednesdays to paint and socialise, and the lockdown has set in motion an online presence, which can now be shared with much wider audience.
The accomplished art workshops and art lectures are organised each term by the Friends for members, however they are also open to interested non-members subject to availability and payment.
And finally – the fundraising activities of the Friends are varied and creative, from exhibitions, commissioning the artists for the cherished merchandise, to the exemplary auctions raising funds for the school and students.