Folkestone is an Art School!

Major new initiative by artist(s) / The Cass Fine Art Professor(s) Bob and Roberta Smith will raise awareness of the importance of arts education.

Bob and Roberta Smith (Patrick Brill), who leads the Fine Arts MFA at The Cass, is leading a campaign to turn the town of Folkestone into the world’s biggest art school. The project, which is part of the double edge strand of the Folkestone Triennial, will help raise awareness of the importance of art education.

Bob and Roberta Smith has been a vocal and respected campaigner for art schools. His many high-profile projects have seen him run the Art Party Conference in Scarborough, co-direct the Art Party Film, set up an Arts Emergency Centre and even run against Michael Gove during the last General Election. His protest work was the feature of a BBC Four Documentary last year. For double edge, he is declaring that FOLKESTONE IS AN ART SCHOOL. By re-appraising the skills and activities taking place here, he realised that Folkestone is already an art school. Once this is more widely recognised and appreciated, young people will be able to get an art school education without leaving the town. His contributing programme will reveal the talents of resident artists, develop their teaching skills, and engage a cohort of young people in making art. The artist has recorded a series of 12 short pedagogical videos to form the spine of the programme.

In order to make as bold a statement as possible Bob and Roberta Smith needs your support. Folkestone Triennial is excited to be running a campaign on Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform Art Happens, which with the public's help will cover Folkestone in banners, posters and artwork designed by Bob, declaring and celebrating that FOLKESTONE IS AN ART SCHOOL! Donations will fund the visual declaration, the commission’s public face and its visual identity. From the train station to the windswept Martello lookout tower, the organisers want the UK to see this visual declaration and join in with the campaign.

To find out more and donate, please visit the Art Happens campaign page.

As part of FOLKESTONE IS AN ART SCHOOL Bob and Roberta Smith has created a series of 12 short pedagogical films. The first video, Time & Beginnings, explores how art transcends borders, spawns new ideas, opens up new perspectives and embraces new and innovative solutions. Watch the film.

You can find out more about Bob and Roberta, who received an OBE in this year's New Year's Honours list, on his website.