ARTISTS descended on Scarborough for a party conference with a difference.

Members of leading arts organisations gathered for the first Art Party Conference. The event, at the Spa, was held to highlight concerns over the future of arts education in schools.

Artists including Turner prize winner Jeremy Deller, Cornelia Parker, sculptor Richard Wentworth, actor and director Sam West and poet Maureen Duffy joined in a day of performances, displays and conversations where games included a Goveshy – throwing balls at pot figures of Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Inspired by Bob and Roberta Smith and organised by Crescent Arts in Scarborough, speakers included Leslie Butterworth, General Secretary for the National Society for Education in Art and Design, who said current school curriculum proposals are “the most toxic I have seen for art and design in my lifetime”.

Patrick Brill, whose working name is Bob and Roberta Smith, presented his artwork, A Letter to Michael Gove, and said:

“We want a society where people feel they have the ability and right to contribute to British culture. Charging kids the earth for education stops working-class kids, from climbing the ladder and it’s their journey up the ladder that has always kept British Culture so amazing. We took over the beautiful Victorian Spa in Scarborough, where, like a seaside Hogwarts, every niche, corner, theatre and the grand hall is filled with artists advocating that art become centre stage in a school curriculum based on creative thinking.”