When was the last time you had a day of creative indulgence? When you stopped everything, forgot everyone, and immersed yourself in creating something or learning a new artistic skill? If your memory goes back to sketching self-portraits in high school, then a new event coming soon to Manchester’s Victoria Baths may be for you.

Next month sees the launch of a Creative Masterclass at one of Northern Soul’s favourite venues, Victoria Baths. The event is headlined by creative expert Michael Atavar whose credentials include an artist-in-residency at The Guardian, workshops at Tate Modern, and touring with the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the US. He’s also written books on his specialist subject, including Everyone is Creative and How To Be An Artist.

Atavar will open the day and guide you through the creative process – where to begin, what to look at and how to unlock your potential. Then follows the main event, a series of art workshops in skills including printmaking, life drawing and mixed media collage, led by a line-up of practicing artists who are experts in their creative medium.

Manchester artist Lisa Risbec will be taking up residence in the beautiful relaxation rooms at the baths, working with collage and mixed media. Risbec works with paper, found objects and fabric, with her practice evolving over the years from photography to stop-motion animation to textiles and collage.

Creative Masterclass at Victoria BathsThe Gala Pool will see Monica Jones leading life drawing classes with re-imagined poolside poses from the days when the baths were a place for bathing, relaxing and socialising. Jones has studied, practised and taught life drawing in Manchester for more than 40 years and, through her work, she tries to show respect for the humanity of the model and their vulnerability. She believes there is nothing quite like drawing from life and encourages everyone to try it.

There are two different printmaking classes to choose from:

Matt Davies is a Manchester artist who has exhibited around the UK and abroad and has been selected for the John Moores painting competition.  His class will explore the fundamentals of screen-printing and, using a range of exposed screens, stencils, pre-collaged paper, participants will learn and become confident in layering, masking and registering a print.

Kate Webborn is an artist and curator working in Nottingham. She has produced books and art prints that have been exhibited across the UK. Her class offers an introduction to relief printing with stamps that are made on the day, as well as using found objects from the area, and mono-printing over the top to create layers of block colour and line to create a large poster-style print.

Whatever the medium, the backdrop of Manchester’s water palace is bound to inspire. Victoria Baths has long been a muse for artists, from dancers to painters through to photographers and musicians.

This day offers a new and refreshing way to engage with art. The concept that not only can you take home the artwork you have created, but also discover how living and thinking more creatively can enhance and liberate you in all areas of your life is a powerful ideal. The experience is bound to be more challenging than a spa day, but promises a greater return on your investment.

Taking place on Saturday July 18 2015 (9am – 5.30pm), this day of creative indulgence is suitable for anyone with a desire to think, learn, make and do, from practised artists to beginners dipping a first toe in the water. The fee of £125 includes all materials lunch and refreshments. To book go to www.creativemasterclass.eventbrite.co.uk or for more information visit www.victoriabaths.org.uk.

Victoria Baths@victoriabaths

Creative Masterclass at Victoria Baths

Saturday July 18, 2015