BEAF Introduces: Fin, Mike and MBN Arts

You must have heard about our Design a Deck Competition by now? If you haven’t that’s cool, you can read all about it HERE. To run alongside our competition, we’ve asked Mike from MBN Arts to run some workshops with Jewell Academy and The Bishop of Winchester Academy.

We also asked him to help us find a Youth Ambassador for the Under 18’s category of the competition and he knew exactly who to ask! The Youth Ambassador will take an active role in promoting the competition to a wider audience and being one of a selection of judges to choose the competition winners.

We chatted to Youth Ambassador Fin and Mike to find out more about them and the amazing work MBN Arts does.

Tell us about yourself Fin

I’m 16 years old and live in Southbourne, Bournemouth, where I have done all my life.

As well as being part of the Bournemouth community, I am also part of another large community here, the skate community. I’ve been skateboarding for just over two years, with the sport and sub-subculture being a big part of my life. I have gained a lot of strong friendships from being part of the skate community and skateboarding really helps me relieve stress and feel calm.

What helped you decide to say yes to being our Youth Ambassador?

I am also passionate about the creative arts, with a keen interest in Graffiti, Fashion and Street Culture. I was approached by Mike to be the Youth Ambassador for the BEAF Skateboard Design Competition, because of my combined interests of skating and art, involvement in the skate community and because of previous projects I have done with MBN ARTS.

Mike, when did you first meet Fin?

I first met Fin in 2015, where himself and four friends took part in a spray paint workshop to celebrate his 10th birthday. Even back then you could see how creative he was. Fin was the perfect choice to be the Youth Ambassador for this project. Not only a great artistic mind, but an incredibly likeable person, who wants to be involved in the community.

What projects have you worked on with Fin?

Our most recent collaboration saw the planning and realisation on 2 large-scale artworks for Fin’s school, through 15 weeks of creative workshops. He set himself the challenge to communicate important information about the impact on the planet by CO2 emissions, in a receptive way to young people his age.

Fin, tell us about this project?

My artworks combined three topics of interest to me. Climate Change, Skateboarding, and Street Culture. The project saw me experiment with a variety of creative media and techniques, including laser cutting, spray-painting, and textiles.

Mike, tell us some more about MBN Arts

MBN Arts is a Bournemouth based Urban Arts Bespoke Provider and accredited Arts Award Centre, with a focus on inspiring, empowering and enabling children and young people within and outside of educational settings. Our particular emphasis is on those who may be sensitive and not thriving in mainstream education.

We offer a diverse range of contemporary, creative and expressive subjects and pathways in the form of tailored courses and projects. Including; street art & graffiti, film and animation, crafting & woodwork, graphic design, music production, street dance and more!

What have you got planned for the workshops?

As part of the festival’s skateboard deck design competition, this year we will be delivering five weeks of mixed media creative workshops for two local schools, to inspire and support them in creating their own design entries. We are very excited to be collaborating with these two schools. It is a great opportunity for their students to further explore the creative world, to gain new experiences and to support a project which will benefit the local community.

Follow their progress!

A big thank you to Mike and Fin for chatting with us! We can’t wait to see the finished products from the workshops and share the competition entries with Fin. Check out MBN Arts on Instagram and Facebook and follow the progress of all of the workshops.

There is still plenty of time to enter our Design a Deck competition, win some prizes and support Noyce Gardens DIY on their mission. If you don’t fancy designing a deck you can still donate and show your support HERE.

All photos via MBN ARTS