Annual exhibition opens to showcase Sunderland's emerging artistic talent

This year’s annual Youth Arts Exhibition has gone on show as it shines a light on artistic talent of the future.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:04 pm
The new Bright Lights exhibition at Arts Centre Washington

Entitled Bright Lights, the exhibition is now open at Arts Centre Washington and will be running until March 14. Young people aged 11 to 19 from the Sunderland and Washington area were invited to submit their artwork to be displayed in the exhibition.

This year the arts centre received around 90 entries spanning textile art, mixed media sculptures, digital photography, painting and video, from schools, youth groups and individuals from all over the city.

This multi-disciplined exhibition is now in its 25th successful year.

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The new Youth Arts Exhibition at Arts Centre Washington

Arts Centre Washington worked with the Celebrate Different collective who are Sunderland Culture’s Young Ambassadors to curate the exhibition.

Leading up to the opening of the exhibition, the team worked closely with Arts Centre staff and Sunderland Culture professionals to select artwork from the submission entries, curate the exhibition and bring out ideas and stories from the work submitted.

This exhibition tells the stories of the young people of Sunderland — stories of individuals and the society in which they live, and the physical and cultural landscapes that surround us.

A spokesperson for the curators said: “We were really impressed by the quality of the work this year. We have chosen work that stood out to us and had a deeper meaning behind them. We positioned the work from black and white to vibrant and colourful so the viewer goes on an interesting journey through the space.”

The exhibition was opened by the Mayor, Councillor David Snowdon, and Creative Director of Sunderland Culture Rebecca Ball.

This year’s exhibition is accompanied by a sister exhibition, by pupils from Usworth Colliery Primary School. The school have been coming to Arts Centre Washington every Wednesday morning as part of Sunderland Culture’s Uncover programme, producing the work that makes up this new exhibition, Living Things, which can be seen in the upstairs gallery space The Granary.

*Both exhibitions run until March 14 2020, for more information call 0191 561 3455 or visit