Arts Award is a national qualification that supports anyone up to the age of 25 to grow as artists and leaders in the arts, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider art world.

St Ives School of Painting have been delivering Arts Award for many years, culminating in the Porthmeor Young Artists Programme which launched early 2017. The award builds confidence and self-esteem, helps open up young people to cultural activities and experiences, and prepares them for further education and employment.

Porthmeor Young Artists Project

This project gives vital space and resources to local young people with the spirit and drive to make art with regular workshops in the inspirational Porthmeor Studios and other making spaces like Leach Pottery. The local secondary school, St Ives School, has worked closely with us to develop the project.

Fundraising for the project enabled the first group of young artists to get started in January 2017.  This resulted in 27 young people achieving Bronze Arts Awards. The moderator’s feedback was very positive and she commented that it was the most exciting Bronze work in the visual arts that she had seen in years.

“Lovely integrated creative portfolios across the different Bronze units, that reflected each individual young person. Genuine participation enabled by inspiring lead artist exploring range of visual art forms.” Rosie Russell, Moderator at Trinity College.

The young artists are currently working towards Silver Arts Award which will culminate in a youth festival for St Ives at the end of June 2018. Check out what the group has been doing via their Instagram here.

We have a target to raise £3,000 from the public to support this programme per year. You can help sponsor a young artist yourself or take part in the Rotary postcard sale this September. Funds from the sale help towards our future youth work as well as supporting other arts organisations and local charities. Visit our support-us page find out more.

Arts Awards for Visiting Schools

Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England. As a registered Arts Award Centre, The St Ives School of Painting has a number of  artist tutors qualified to deliver Gold, Silver and Bronze Award. We also have a designated member of staff, Cat Lee, who manages Arts Award and anything related to young people.

As well as local students working on projects we are able to support visiting young people on school visits from across the UK to achieve parts of an award they are already working on. This can be through working directly with one of our artist tutors including arranging visits to artist studios working in Porthmeor Studios.

To find out how we can help you achieve an Arts Awards qualification with us contact or ring 01736 797180. More information on Arts Awards can be found on the national website,


Arts Award

Arts Award Supporters


RIO are currently funding ten local young people to complete their Gold Art Award. The funding allows the group to attend a weekly after school club at Porthmeor Studios.

Real Ideas Organisation

The Artist Mark Map Project Supporters

Our Gold Art Awards group is also working on a project to design a creative heritage pack for families and young people visiting the town. This is a collaborative project with St Ives Archive. This is due to be launched in June 2014. The project has been generously funded by the following organisations.

Cornwall Council Museum Grant

Tanner Trust

Cornwall Heritage Trust

Feast funding

WBG Trust logo

Rotary St Ives