The ARTventurers story……..
ARTventurers was founded in 2011 by Fiona Simpson, mum to two little ARTventurers – Erin, 7 and Isaac 5 – although she has been running art and creative activities, sessions and parties for children since 2008 whilst juggling that with a toddler and a baby!
Fiona has always been passionate about art and design and in addition to running ARTventurers she also produces her own range of handpainted ceramics under the name Just Pottering which have been stocked in various retail outlets across the region and are sold online. Fiona is a member of AIR, the representative body for practicing visual and applied artists and has a number of years of experience of working with children of different ages in various settings including Early Years. Prior to setting up ARTventurers Fiona owned a regional franchise of a national under 5’s activity provider.
Fiona is constantly updating her skills and practice and looking at ways to develop the range of ARTventurers activites and programmes – she has recently completed the CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childrens and Young Peoples Workforce which will enable her to take the ARTventurers sessions into more schools and nurseries across the region and plans to start a Level 3 playwork qualification early next year.
Over the last 2 years ARTventurers has been nominated for a number of awards and was one of the Netmums winners in their prestigious Pre School Class awards 2012, nominated and voted for by parents and carers who attend the classes on a weekly basis. ARTventurers has also been shortlisted in 2012, 2103 and 2014 as Best Local Pre School Activity in the What’s On for Little Ones Awards! On a personal level, Fiona was also nominated and made the shortlist for the Most Outstanding Activity Leader for the Under 5s (East) in the same awards in 2013 which was an amazing achievement. Fiona was also runner up in the North East Press WOW Excellence Awards 2014 in the category Best Children’s Entertainer and ARTventurers was nominated Best Small Business 2014 in the Networking Mummies Awards too!
Fiona continues to run the ARTventurers sessions, events and parties in Tyne and Wear and South Tyneside whilst working hard to grow and develop ARTventurers across the region and now nationally. Fiona was joined by Session Assistant Abbe in June 2013. Abbe has quickly become a very valued member of the team and helps run the Silksworth and Tesco sessions as well as parties and other events. In January 2014 we also welcomed Gillian who helps out with our Whitburn classes.
In July 2013 Lynn Rowan joined the ARTventurers team and became our first licencee in York! And since then the ARTventurers team has grown further with the addition of Shirley in Tees Valley, Karen in Liverpool and Caroline in Durham to the ARTventurers team – all helping to spread ARTventurers unqiue brand of colourful, creative, messy fun throughout the country!