Eighteen students from St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy and their mixed sixth form with St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, have been chosen for the Youth Arts Exhibition 2022: Bright Lights at the Washington Arts Centre in Sunderland.
The Youth Arts Festival is an annual exhibition by people aged 13-25 from across Sunderland who co-produce and run their own cultural events, work with artists and learn new skills.
The festival is supported by Sunderland Culture and curated by the Celebrate Different Collective. The exhibition runs until April 2 and is in the main gallery.
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This year Bright Lights is inspired by ‘Where There’s Space to Grow’ exhibition curated by Celebrate Different Collective, a group of young people living in Sunderland, which creatively reflects on the industrial decline of the 1980s in North East England, while looking ahead to a shared progressive future.
The themes for this year’s exhibition include environment, nature, landscape, heritage and ‘identity’ which includes art personifying the ongoing Covid situation, youth unemployment, gender, diversity, inclusivity and LGBTQIA+.
Jessica Sharman, an art teacher at St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, said: “Celebrating young artists is something that is vitally important, not only for the art world but also for the confidence and development of our students.
"Being able to see their work on display in the Washington Arts Centre is extremely inspiring and encouraging, and gives our students a platform for recognition and success.
“We’re so proud of them - they have such wonderful talent that we’re committed to nurturing and cultivating at St Anthony’s. Year on year, our students never fail to impress and this year is no exception. It is such a pleasure to see their hard work displayed and I know that it means so much to them too.”
Grace Fryer, a Year 13 student at St Anthony’s, added: “I’m very grateful to be a part of the exhibition again this year. Submitting work for the Washington Arts Centre exhibition has given me the confidence to continue to study fine art at degree level.”