联合早报 covers Artary’s Art Starts Programme — 13Jun 2015

Artary’s Art Starts Programme was recently covered by 联合早报. Learn more about Art Starts.

Article has been translated to English for non-Chinese readers.


Art Studio Provides Free Programmes for Needy Children

Children’s art studio Artary launched a sponsorship programme in 2014 for children from low-income families who show keen interest in art. Parents need to apply with a recommendation letter from their child’s school or volunteer welfare organisation (VWO).

Quiet and reserved Abby-Faith Leong (6 years old), who seeks joy through making art, looks forward to her art classes every week. To Abby-Faith’s mother and sole breadwinner, Ms Kimmy Tan, Artary’s sponsorship provides her daughter with the assistance she needs.

When Ms Tan (37 years old) discovered that her daughter, who suffers from hearing difficulties, had a keen interest in arts, she sought to develop her interest. It was while researching on the Internet that she learnt about Artary’s Art Starts – a sponsorship programme for financially needy children with keen interest in art. That is when she wrote in for her daughter to be admitted into the programme.

Available in Three Locations in the East

Artary, whose art training programmes are catered for children aged 3.5 to 12 years old, launched the sponsorship programme in 2014 in hope to contribute back to the society. Applicants need to be recommended by their schools, VWOs, or social and welfare organisations to verify that they are on a financial assistance scheme, and have displayed a keen interest in art. By offering the programme mainly from their website, Artary’s sponsorship has reached out to 8 students, mostly who have been recommended directly through their kindergartens and primary schools.

Artary currently operates from three locations in the East. Founder Ms Vanessa Seng wishes to reach out to more beneficiary students by working and establishing partnerships with VWOs and family services centres.

“Art can develop a child’s creativity, and is very helpful to their holistic development. Children who are interested and talented in art should not be denied the opportunity to nurture themselves due to financial circumstances. That is why we decided to sponsor needy students.” said Ms Seng in an interview.

Artary’s programmes run weekly sessions of 90 minutes each, with each class costing more than 30 dollars. The programmes cover watercolours, still life and papier-mâché among other topics. After the initial sponsorship of 3 months, the studio will review the child’s interest and abilities. Majority of the students have had their sponsorships extended after the review.

“Abby-Faith is a quiet girl who loves to express her emotions through art and crafts. Even though I am working in the education sector, I cannot provide her with professional guidance in art. I want to do my best to provide good learning opportunities for her, so that she can discover and showcase her talents, and to develop a self-confidence through art. The art classes available in the market are quite expensive. A studio that provides such sponsorship programmes will really help many needy families.” said Ms Tan.

Abby-Faith has an elder and younger sister. Since her father’s passing a few years ago, her mother has been the family’s sole breadwinner. Another beneficiary, Ms Talia Tan (37 years old, administration worker), also sent in her application for her 4 year old daughter upon learning about the Art Starts programme from her colleagues. “My daughter loves art and crafts. Given my financial situation, and the need to bring up my two children, it is very difficult to pay for enrichment classes. Such sponsorship programmes provide needy children with the learning opportunities they need.” said Ms Tan.

Photo inset: Abby-Faith Leong (2nd from right) has keen interest and talent in art. Artary’s founder Ms Vanessa Seng (right) hopes to help children from low-income families to pursue their interest in art.

Art Proficiency Training with PAP Community Foundation — 11Sep 2014

Back in June 2014, Artary was invited by PCF to create a customised training programme for 120 preschool teachers. The teachers took on the challenge of being full-time art teachers during the intense two-day training workshops, and focused on art pedagogy and creativity building for children through using recycled and natural materials.

We are proud to have the opportunity reach out to other fellow educators through the workshops. We are confident that our fellow educators will provide a great art learning journey for their students.

Good job teachers!

Artary’s Community Arts Programme: Art Starts — 9May 2014

Today, Artary is launching our community arts programme, Art Starts.

The Art Starts Programme is established to engage with children in Singapore who do not receive the privilege to high-quality art exposure due to social or economic barriers. Art is our main platform to inspire and foster emotional, personal and social development amongst these children. We believe that every child has a dream, and we want to help make those dreams come true.

The Art Starts Programme is a fully sponsored programme. Currently, Artary runs the programme and sponsors all beneficiaries independently. The programme is completely free for accepted students. We are committed in making it possible for deserving children to achieve their potential. The programme provides professional, sustained mentoring for children age 5 to 12 through our Artary Kids programmes. It is also about giving a magical touch in our children’s lives by providing inspiration to help their imaginations soar!

We welcome children who love art to come, and to be immersed in the art that they forget about all their troubles. We want children to engage in art in a way that makes them feel happy and free again.

For more information, learn more about the Art Starts Programme.

Young Singaporean Astronauts — 19Mar 2014

Astronaut Space Helmet (Papier Mâché)

The next Apollo mission: To find a rocket shuttle big enough to send this many astronauts to space…

Ask Vanessa: Do you help to prepare my child for art in primary school? — 9Feb 2014

Singaporean parents are not having it easy. Cost of living is rising, schools are getting competitive (some less competitive), and housing much scarcer and expensive. We fret about milk powders, gym training, right brain development, pre-school admissions, and getting ready for primary school while still in pre-school!

For that, every parent deserves more than just one Mother’s or Father’s day off a year!

In this blog post, I’d like to discuss a common question I get from parents: “Do you help to prepare my child for art in primary school?”

Such questions really put me on the spot. Let me explain why.

Art is bigger than the classroom.

Schools follow an extensive art curriculum, covering a broad range of art topics, from art forms and principles of design, to elements of art. Students are also exposed broad ranges of skill training in art techniques, visual inquiry, communication, research and processing. If you’re interested, read about the primary school and lower secondary art syllabus.

But art is more than that. Art is imagining, exploring, interacting, and immersing.

Every student’s art learning journey in Artary brings them through creative and engaging themes, experiencing art through imaginative play and immersive music pieces, learning facts and knowledge about their artworks every week. Students learn as much about their art as about the world around them.

We believe in preparing our students not just for the classroom, but for the world around them.

Artary goes beyond the primary school syllabus.

Artary’s programmes focus not only on the variety of art theory, but also the depth of training provided.

Our students undergo a diversified and structured programme to acquire and master sets of practical art skills that build a strong foundation in art. For example, brush stroke techniques recur frequently during the programme, to provide students ample practices to be masterful in handling the brush.

Our goal is for all students to be skilfully equipped to practice art on their own, over and beyond what they learn in school.

To us, art is all about the experience.

Artary has always been about providing the best art experience. The experience of students is so important to us that our art sessions are conducted in very small groups, so that every student not only receive close guidance, but luxurious opportunities to participate in group discussions and to share experiences with their peers.

With a good foundation from Artary, our students often relate proudly the confidence they exhibit in absorbing during their lessons in schools, and the ability to appreciate and approach the school’s art projects with vastly different perspectives from their classmates.

So, no. We do not prepare your child for art in primary school. We’re preparing them for something bigger.


Ask Vanessa is a new blog series where Vanessa shares insights into children arts education, parents’ questions, best practices and tips. Follow Artary’s Facebook page or our blog for more updates.
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