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Our Tutor named Surrey Artist of the Year 2016

Spring18 - Artist of the YearDenise Jaques, Surrey Adult Learning Tutor, studied textile design at St Martin’s and colour theory was an important aspect of the course.

Denise has taught art and mosaics at the Farnham and Guildford Centres for twenty years and during that time she has seen the benefits to wellbeing that art offers.  She is an ambassador for her subject.  Denise also teaches on the SAL Supported Learning programme, which provides courses specifically for Learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

She affirmed this by saying how "creating mosaics is good for wellbeing", and we discussed how a Learner would become mentally absorbed and immersed in their work, as there are many considerations to take into account; from colour and style to placement and spacing and infinite design possibilities. Creating mosaics requires great attention to detail and precision. This also gives a Learner great scope for personal expression and interpretation and Denise has produced exquisite, eye catching designs, often using glass, so that she can play with ever changing light. Denise uses mosaic design to produce pieces for garden decoration, which are attractive and unusual. She also makes mosaics large and small, from jewellery to sculptures, and works with glass, metal, wire and found pieces.

Denise, who works for SAL as well as from her studio in north Farnham, also runs courses under the name Mosaic Happy. She was delighted to be nominated for the Surrey Artist of the Year 2016, which was the validation of her talent. She won prize money and the opportunity to hold her own solo exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham.

"I was not expecting even to get nominated," said Denise. "This was my first year taking part in the Open Studios. I knew I had had good feedback but there is a difference between good feedback and actually winning."

SAL congratulates Denise on this amazing achievement. We are lucky to have amazing Tutors as part of our learner offer.