There are many reasons why an education programme can be an important element of a commission and an important one is avoiding the perception that a piece of artwork has been ‘parachuted’ into a public space.
A commission may of course have been driven by a community or public need but education projects linked to commissions are an excellent way of explaining and creating ownership for a work that will be located in a public space and advocating the value of artists’ work in the public realm. Education work connected to a commission may also be eligible for additional funding.
The commissioning process can provide an enormous variety of education opportunities before during and after production of the work.
- Workshops, which involve the public or community directly in the development of a project or even the final piece of work.
- Work with schools and community groups on a project separate from but relevant to, the commission.
- Professional development opportunities for artists through working in new context e.g. non-gallery space, direct work with communities, collaboration with other professionals, producing work on a larger scale, working with new materials.
- Opportunities for younger or less experienced artists to work alongside the commissioned artist.
- Offering the general public and particularly young people an insight into the professional working practice of artists and the creative process.
- Opportunities for commissioners to broker new partnerships, develop a greater understanding of working with artists, with new ideas or unfamiliar artforms.
- Projects where the finished artwork has a planned use as an educational resource.
- Exhibitions, publications, films or performances that respond to, document or tell the story of the commission.