The Art & MakerSpace

Creativity, Imagination, Inspiration

Why invest in the Art & MakerSpace?

The John Palmer Centre (JPC) was opened in 1996 and for 20 years has served the School very well. It encapsulates our belief in a broad and rich curriculum for our middle school students and artistic and design opportunities for our older students at GCSE and A Level.  Girls at St Catherine's thrive in the creative arts and move on to a variety of wonderful careers as expressive artists, art curators, dealers and teachers. Increasingly, we have all come to value the synergy between the arts and sciences and the way in which they inform and inspire each other. With many girls choosing to study both arts and sciences at A level, we are delighted that the Art & Makerspace is the next step on our journey to Create The Future and look forward to developing ways in which girls can explore the interconnection of their chosen subjects.

Within our  campaign to Create the Future lies a reimagining of the JPC , enhancing the existing space and realising our vision for the Art&MakerSpace - a hub for creativity, imagination and inspiration . The Art & Makerspace will include an extension to the existing building, allowing us to adapt some of the spaces and create a new gallery area where we can stage evolving exhibitions of the girls' work. Additionally we will have the potential to show the work of visiting artists, such as our former Artist in Residence, Sophie Allsopp, and our own talented staff, artists in their own right.  A dedicated studio will provide a new space for girls studying Textiles, bringing them geographically closer to the other creative arts and facilitating the cross pollination of ideas, shared exhibitions and a sense of unity.  The photographic studio will be extended to house the growing number of girls studying this subject and there will be a dedicated, modern studio for Sixth Form students which will replace the current informal extension room.  We are delighted that the culinary arts will also move to the Art & MakerSpace, with Home Economics being relocated to make way for the CATalyst ... catering for exhibition events will never have been closer at hand!

The Benefits

  • A redesigned DT space
  • A new photographic studio and darkroom, embracing digital photography
  • Connected teaching - textiles , History of Art and the Culinary Arts move into the fold
  • A dedicated 6th Form Studio
  • Art History teaching will be in the centre of all things artistic
  • Permanent exhibition space to showcase girls’ work
  • Space to host Artists in Residence to enrich the teaching for all girls
  • Increased involvement in the Royal Academy Schools and Saatchi Gallery Programmes
  • Space to welcome University Art Departments and showcase MA courses
  • The chance to participate as a Surrey Open Studio

The Vision

We are delighted that Planning Permission for The Art & Makerspace has now been obtained. There will be opportunities for your support to be recognised against teaching rooms in The Art & MakerSpace.   

Why now?

  • We need space! The JPC was built for a three-form entry school and we have been four-form entry since 2006.
  • Textiles are inspired by fine art, photography and fashion are linked, design technology influences ceramics - the subjects connect and our spaces will too!
  • Photography shoots are spilling out into the main studio.
  • Digital photography and art present a completely new discipline since the JPC was conceived and space is needed for our Apple Macs and IT tools.
  • Girls’ canvas sizes are restricted due to the display space – they want to 'go large'!
  • The 6th Form ‘Shed’ for private art work is well-loved and well-used but is small and can be chilly.

Join us on the journey!

We need your support to make The Art & MakerSpace a reality.  The total project budget is c.£1.5m and we need to raise £250k from the School community, alumnae and parents.  Our fundraising campaign has begun and we are excited that with community contributions we will be able to bring out vision for The Art & MakerSpace to life. With planning permission secured, we are delighted that building work will start in Summer 2021. 

There's something primal about it. It's innate, the need to make marks. That's why, when you're a child, you scribble. 

Jenny Saville

Focus on the Arts

We all have creative potential and arts form a significant part of the compulsory curriculum from Years 7-9 (Upper 3 to Upper 4).  The Art & MakerSpace Campaign will allow us to enhance the JPC , a place where girls already love to spend time. Your support will enable us to create an environment in which our talented and inspirational teachers can fire the girls’ imaginations, ignite their interests and allow them to explore their creativity.  The rational, logical brain can take a breath and girls can observe and create, expressing themselves through clay, silk, photographic print, wood, digital design, watercolours or simply a pencil.

We are proud advocates of the fundamental drawing skills that underpin the work of all successful artists and are the foundation of creative exploration. The creative arts are of intrinsic value to our lives, they enrich our souls and give us huge satisfaction.  Imagine the achievement of creating a wire sculpture modelled on Giacommeti then photographing, editing and creating a line drawing of your creation.  Or, using paints and materials, to explore textures, then delving into the 16th century to explore how artists used brush-strokes to create depth and perspective.

We want every girl to have the opportunity to develop her creativity in the Art & Makerspace whether she moves into the creative industries, or through refining her problem solving skills becomes an entrepreneur of the future.  

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. 

Pablo Picasso

Naming opportunities Donation level Status
The Sixth Form Art Atelier  £25,000 Reserved

The Textiles Studio 

£25,000 Reserved
The Culinary Arts Studio £25,000  
The Fine Art Studio £25,000  
The Photo Studio and Dark Room £20,000  
The Design & Technology Studio £20,000  
The Ceramics Studio £20,000  
The History of Art Study £15,000 Reserved