Testimonials

Fine Art Tutor for adults, WEA, Bolton

“Dani has excellent interpersonal skills, learners are inspired by her up-to-date knowledge and practice skills. Her style and communication skills engage and enthuse all learners. Dani has the ability to motivate, encourage and challenge all individuals to enable them to make excellent progress, appropriate to their ability level.”

Feedback excerpt from Observation of Teaching & Learning assessment

Creative Workshop Leader, St Vincent’s Housing Association, Bolton

“Dani has delivered several projects for us including an ‘Introduction to Patchwork’ course and a 12 week Creative Textiles project where the class made a beautiful textiles mural that has been hung in the Farnworth UCAN Centre. She has also delivered a 3 week ‘Introduction to Drawing’ course.

The outcomes have been that the majority of people that have attended her workshops have become more confident within themselves and have discovered that they have a creative side they never knew existed. Dani has that unique ability to make people feel instantly at ease which helps them to settle into her classes quickly. Nothing is too much trouble for her and she is very patient when delivering her workshops. We will be seeking funding so that we can work with Dani in the future to run more Arts & Craft projects from our centre.”

Debbie Hayes, St Vincent’s Social Investment Team.

Artist in Residence, St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Bolton

“Over the course of the academic year 2011/2012, the Art, Craft and Design curriculum at St Thomas of Canterbury School came under review and as part of this review our skills and competencies to deliver the curriculum were assessed. It became clear that our staff and children would benefit from the intervention of external expertise. Art courses for staff were almost nonexistent and those available did not meet our needs – support therefore came in the form of Dani Gaines as an Artist in Residence.

Dani met with our art lead and myself on a number of occasions prior to the start of the intervention and during this time she quickly established a relationship with us and an understanding of our needs that involved both staff training and also working with the children.

As a school, we had applied to enter the Face Britain Competition as part of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations. Dani worked with the staff over two staff meetings teaching them how to draw / paint a face. Her manner put the staff at ease – some were extremely nervous initially – with staff leaving the sessions keen to have a go, practising before teaching the children. The increased staff confidence had a substantial impact on the quality of teaching and learning that went into the classroom resulting in end products from the children that were superb.

Her work with the children centred around a group of gifted, talented, more able pupils who were encouraged to be heavily involved in the planning of an art project. The children were identified by class teachers and came from across school. On return to class, these children supported their peers and their teachers in making origami fish. The result of this work is a superb display in the old hall library of origami fish but the real treasure of this display is that every child in school played a part!

Dani has inspired and enthused us and as a result the quality of our art work across school has improved tremendously. It is our intention to continue to build on this relationship with Dani by planning sessions with the staff to build their skills and competencies and also during 2012/2013 developing the curriculum with Dani working with phase teams in their classes.”

Mrs F. Lysyj, Head Teacher.

 

Patchwork & Quilting for Irish Community Care

“I can only say that the result has been extremely positive. Dani not only enabled everyone to be involved, however limited in talent or dexterity, but brought the users together in supporting each other as a team effort, encouraging social interaction as well as talent and thouroughly enjoying their afternoon sessions.

The groups produced some excellent work and presented beautiful quilts to Cornerstone, Day Centre for Homeless as one community group supporting another.

Dani proved to be a very capable tutor, friendly, sociable and with the ability of making people feel useful knowing they had accomplished something that is beneficial to others. I would recommend Dani to any community group requiring an experienced and excellent Arts Tutor.”

Deidre Caroll, Manager, Irish Community Care.

 

Fine Art Classes for Bolton at Home 

“Six months ago I commissioned Dani Gaines as part of a consortium of artists to deliver a range of creative activities where  Dani took responsibility for delivering fine art sessions.  The community members we targetted live in a deprived ward of Bolton.  Dani not only successfully led the sessions, but she also took part ownership of engaging and recruiting those hard to reach individuals by knocking on doors and visiting events in order to speak to people and encourage them to participate.

 Dani’s sessions were very much enjoyed by the participants who developed new skills and formed new relationships in a safe and supportive environment facilitated by Dani.  Following on from this I have worked in partnership with an education provider to commission Dani to run another creative course, exploring mark making, screen printing, textile embellishment and more.  This course is proving very popular with impressive numbers of participants attending weekly sessions.  Due to this success I have commissioned Dani to work with the community group to develop an exhibition, showcasing achievements and progress made and documenting people’s development and creative engagement.”

 Dani creates a calm and focussed environment that facilitates productiveness and fulfilment amongst participants.  I fully intend to work with Dani again in the future.”

Dawn Yates-Obe, Housing Arts Officer, Bolton at Home.


Cook-Inspire-Create, an NLDC funded Bolton at Home project

“We employed Dani, from October to December 2011, to deliver the fine art aspect of a multi discipline project we were running on behalf of Bolton at Home. The overall project included photography, cookery, creative writing, film making and fine art. The work created by participants across all strands will contribute to a community cook book due for publication around July 2012.

Dani ran two series of five weekly fine art workshops for us and supported and inspired participants in creating a range of bold designs. She encouraged individuals to expand on their ideas and develop their preferred methods whilst also experimenting with new materials and  techniques.

Throughout her workshops Dani showed learners a variety of different styles of Art from markmaking to still life and collage. She took novice artists and gave them the confidence and skills to continue painting in their own time and signposted them to further avenues of study.

Dani was patient, professional and encouraging. She showed a  fantastic commitment to both the project and the learners. She is extremely well organised, reliable and plans her sessions thoroughly.

We witnessed several learners blossom as artists under Dani’s tuition and participants seem to really enjoy the sessions.

We are planning further work in partnership with Dani and would recommend her to future clients.”

Francesca Platt, Production Manager, thebox.tv

 

Art workshop leader, Bolton Smiley Faces:

“Bolton Smiley Faces is a parent-led Down’s Syndrome support group. Our aim is to support families and carers and all those with an interest in Down’s Syndrome in Bolton and the surrounding area. Dani has delivered effective art workshops for the children of our charity. She has delivered the classes at our group meetins, held on the second Sunday of every month. In all, she will have delivered 8 monthly sessions for us.

The benefits of the art workshops have been to provide a holistic, therapeutic and developmental activity for the children and it has also enabled the parents to get involved with their children. This has provided a bonding opportunity for the parents/carers and the children.

Dani’s key strengths are that she brings a holistic approach to learning for the children, using visual and tactile techniques, she guides the children to bring out the best within them at all times. She is very imaginative and each workshop has had a different approach to learning and creativity in such a fun way.

The workshops have been an amazing succhess with Bolton Smiley Faces, Dani works hard to ensure all the sessions are different and have been thoroughly enjoyed by our members. We currently have three sessions left with Dani, we will be sad when the time comes to say goodbye to her and we hope to be able to work with her again in the future.”

Jacqui Grady, Chair of Bolton Smiley Faces

 

Freelance Art Tutor for WEA:

“This is a course for learners supported by Irish Community Care, they are generally vulnerable elderly people who are at risk of social isolation. Many of the learners are physically or mentally frail.

The sessions have been excellently planned and prepared with an excellent range of resources. Learners are very keen, focussed and engaged. There is a happy, busy atmosphere, learners are focussed on their work buy obviously enjoying themselves. Dani has a lovely rapport with the learners and gives excellent attention to individual needs. Previously agitated and unsettled learners have become noticably calmer on this course.”

Feedback excerpt from Observation of Teaching & Learning assessment