Face-finding fun for families

Press Release: 01/10/2015

Collection of Masks

It can be hard to entertain the children over the holidays, but the job was made easier in Alresford over the summer thanks to a collaboration between Perins School, local businesses and a group of local organisations.

The ‘Face-Finding Mission’ had two clear objectives: to display the artwork of Year 7 pupils in the town centre for all to see and to encourage local residents and visitors to spend some time in Alresford Town Centre.

Back in June, Year 7 students at Perins School were treated to a cultural arts day during which professional visual artist, Teresa Paiva, demonstrated the art of mask-making. All 200 Year 7 students were then given just one hour to create their own masks using coloured card and collage materials. Of these masks, 25 were selected to be displayed in windows around the town centre, including shops, cafes, estate agents the community centre and the library.

The mission was to find all of these faces around town, identifying them from their photo on the entry form and then noting down the letter that accompanied them. Entry forms were distributed to local schools, clubs, cafes and shops. Those who managed to find all of the faces were entered into a draw to win prizes donated by local businesses. The face-finding mission was always intended to appeal to adults as well as children, so prizes included wine, chocolates and a massage.

Chair of New Alresford Town Council, Cllr Lisa Griffiths, said:

With this activity we wanted to see adults and children participating, and by the flurry of activity and excited conversation on West Street I witnessed one day, the adults enjoyed themselves as much as the children. Opportunities to collaborate with Perins School are important as they have a strong presence in the town and it’s fantastic for people to see the great work that pupils are producing. 

Over 280 people took part over three weeks, with 59 of those participants being adults. As well as finding the masks in the windows, they were all tasked with choosing their favourite mask. All of the masks without exception won votes, but the most popular mask was the one created by Maya Exelby. Maya was presented with a pastel and canvas set kindly donated by Oakleaf Stationery; one of the mask locations.

Head of Art at Perins, Lorna Billington commented:

Cultural Arts Day has become an important part of our Year 7 curriculum and it’s a great opportunity for our students to try lots of new skills with a team of visiting artists. This is the first time we have partnered with Winchester City Council to make this local link in displaying the work produced and it’s been a really great to bring us all together.

The activity was organised by Heidi Isa, Market Towns Development Officer for Winchester City Council, a position that is part-funded by New Alresford Town Council.