Hello – my name is Maxine Allan…
I have been a qualified art therapist since 1998 working in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the West Indies. I have shared visual expression and physical thinking with groups and individuals in social work services, hospitals, schools and police departments.
From 1998 to 2000 I taught a Fine Arts program at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, which included beginners and intermediate levels in drawing, painting, mixed media and sculpture.
Schools and home life do not always allow time for a child’s self expression. I recognised the benefits that could be gained by offering children a time and space to express themselves naturally through playing, whilst introducing them to a wide range of art materials and techniques. It was this realisation that drove me to set up ARTYFACTS in 2004. Since then I have been creating syllabuses that encourage artistic experimentation, creative problem solving and individuality in an environment where children can feel safe getting in touch with their emotions. I have the best job in the world!
“My daughter, Beth has attend Arty Facts at St Andrews school from the very beginning of her school life from Reception and she is now going into Year 6. Arty Facts isn’t just another after school club, Maxine is able to combine an art lesson with some life lessons. The children start with some amazing inspirational ideas for creating art, but in the process discuss life, society and culture – so subtle topics like recycling, eco awareness through to emotional responses to art and each other. They have talked about topic areas like homelessness from reading a poem written by someone homeless. They work on art as individuals but also joint projects and also some as group work. Beth has always wanted to continue attending Arty Facts as the club is fun, inspiring and we have many works displayed around our home from the lessons. So in the 6 years that Beth has gone to Arty Facts she hasn’t ever come home with the same creation – so Maxine and her team are able to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the children.”