Hitting the high notes: Nic Joly raises £3,960 for son’s school

With a tour spanning over five decades, West Side Story continues to inspire audiences around the world. One such audience is the Creative Arts department of Perins School in New Alresford, Hampshire, whose production of the 1957 musical moved miniature sculptor Nic Joly to create and auction off a New York inspired artwork to raise funds for arts education in July 2019. 

“Teaching our children to think creatively and use their imagination is the most important lesson,” says Nic, who spent two months working on the wall sculpture. “It helps them to love life.”

The artwork, titled ‘Some Day’, features an inner-city scene in reference to the plot of two rival gangs battling for control of their turf. The musical – which is based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – also spawned an award-winning 1961 film starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. Viewers may notice the miniature West Side Story poster, while further quirks include real dirt and dust from the streets of New York, plus Nic’s signature hand-carved figures and tiny LED lights.

Auctioned online via jumblebee, the artwork raised an incredible £3,960 and was even featured by the BBC South. Well done, Nic!

Why is arts education important?

Awarded the Artsmark Gold standard by Arts Council England in 2014, Perins School is bucking the trend of cuts to arts subjects like drama, music and art. While the creative arts contributed more than £100bn to the economy in 2017, a BBC survey in January 2018 revealed that 90% of secondary schools have streamlined their provisions for at least one subject.


"Teaching our children to think creatively and use their imagination is the most important lesson. It helps them to love life."

Nic Joly

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