Charity art show success

Alex Norton
Alex Norton
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Creative students raised hundreds of pounds for a children’s charity at a hugely successful exhibition.

Hats, paintings, sculptures and masks by junior and senior pupils at St John’s College in Southsea were a big hit with dozens of visitors to the first ever whole-school art show.

More than £300 in ticket sales will now go to Soham for Kids, a school for orphans and impoverished children based in one of the most deprived areas of Hyderabad, India.

Katie Whittaker, 13, who displayed a still life drawing and a Cubist portrait painting, says: ‘We had to study Picasso’s work in class and then create our own picture which was inspired by his work.

‘I blended faces together and focused on their features.’

Ellie Hayes, 12, presented a vivid abstract canvas with orange, yellow and brown shapes.

She says: ‘I felt very proud to show my work – it is nice to know that someone else will appreciate my art.’

Her mum, Stephanie, who was particularly taken with a group painting inspired by 16th century Guiseppe Acrimboldo’s human portraits out of a selection of fruits, adds: ‘The standard was really high across all year groups.’

Alex Norton, 12, had a sketch book with a range of portraits and collages on display. He says: ‘It’s good that everyone had the chance to look at my sketches during the exhibition.’

The event was organised by art teacher Maggie Callan, who has already inspired 22-year-old James Kirk, from Southsea, to support Soham for Kids by flying out to India to teach English.

He says: ‘The exhibition was really good, and it was nice to see everyone supporting such a good cause. I’ve taken some photos to show the children and staff at the school in Hyderabad.’

Maggie adds: ‘It’s fantastic how the pupils of St John’s College have raised money for Soham for Kids – directly supporting children in need of education and welfare.’

Cllr Rob Wood, the city’s cabinet member for education, attended the show with his wife Debra.

He says: ‘It is a delight to see such a variety of creative and interesting artwork – it is very important to encourage attainment but also expression and creativity.’