Developing Creative Thinking Through Visual Arts with Nick Nelson

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Nick Nelson is one of the most esteemed art history lecturers and teachers in the country.

Nick is the director of Arcadia Education, the educative organisation aimed at disseminating art historical content to a wide reaching audience. He’s currently Head of History of Art at Cheltenham College and alongside this, runs adult courses on the same subject, covering areas such as Classical Civilisation, Art history, Architecture and Philosophy. He’s a passion for using art to stimulate creative thinking and start wider discussions on subjects based around culture and ethics. Inspiring and educating with his abundance of knowledge, Nick fascinates and delights with the incredible stories behind some of the most iconic existing paintings.


The exercises and activities developed for the workshops aim to increase effectiveness in communication, create unity between colleagues, develop creative thinking and encourage a team bond to reach a common goal. By taking employees out of their traditional setting and into a world of visual arts, they’re allowed the opportunity to develop a sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm, which can then be transferred back into their work.
Off-site classic galleries:
In his off-site workshops Nick leads the group round the top galleries in London, from the Tate Britain to the National Gallery, looking at some of the most recognisable paintings throughout history. Nick constructs exercises to run throughout the day, encouraging attendees to analyse and learn about the works covering a range of the following aspects:
Context, content and mood of the original work
Process and style of the artwork
Interpretation of art
Pictorial space & depth
Light, tone and colour
Political & socio-economic climate
National identity, religion, morals and ethics
Attendees are divided into pairs or small groups to analyse their designated paintings and explore the themes listed above. Teams then deliver their findings in a presentation. Attendees are encouraged to think outside the box and examine the painting with a critical and analytical eye.
Off-site less-familiar galleries
Nick runs similar workshop days, containing all of the content of the classic galleries workshop but instead touring round some of the lesser-known, hidden galleries of the city.
On-site Art History workshop
For shorter time-periods, Nick can also run workshops on a company’s premises, bringing along the relevant materials to gain maximum enjoyment and return from the activity. Using prints and a PowerPoint presentation, Nick will take the team through the same activities in the off-site workshops, using the time and resources available on the company site.
No previous knowledge or interest in art or Art History is necessary for this team development workshop.

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This workshop involves:

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