Forget about the Tate... schoolchildren set up their own exhibition

ARTY Callum Tovey, Sharon Amft, Orla McKeown and Adan Cassar with their work.  Picture: Steve Reid (114069-808)
ARTY Callum Tovey, Sharon Amft, Orla McKeown and Adan Cassar with their work. Picture: Steve Reid (114069-808)
From left, Paul Stanley, Jo Crisp, George Heasman, Mercedes Bevan, Luke Galea and Bethany Bevan from Highbury College

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MOST artists could only dream of the chance to exhibit their works in a public gallery attended by hundreds of visitors keen to snap up a bargain.

But that’s what 350 talented five to 11 year olds at St Swithun’s Catholic Primary in Southsea had the chance to do as their school hall was transformed into a professional art show for the day.

PROUD Anna Harries show off her work to step-father Andrew Whyte at the St Swithun's Primary School art exhibition.  (114069-796)

PROUD Anna Harries show off her work to step-father Andrew Whyte at the St Swithun's Primary School art exhibition. (114069-796)

Imaginative depictions of colourful fish, birds, Japanese-style prints, people made of fruit and even batik wool and wax landscapes were all framed for parents and guests to buy.

The adults were guided through the gallery with the help of a catalogue listing all the young artists who were mingling with the crowd and discussing their artistic conceptions.

Lucy Woodland, six, exhibited her painting of a brown and orange bird sitting on a branch entitled Birdy Bird.

She said: ‘It was so exciting to see all those parents looking at my painting.

‘I was nervous at first because I was afraid of what they would think of it.

‘It’s a great experience to have, and it’s made me feel very grown up.

‘I’d love to have more exhibitions and it would be amazing to be an artist.

‘I enjoy painting, especially this bird, which was a challenge as I could only use three primary colours.’

Aidan Caffar, nine, showed off his work called Fruit Face, a pastel drawing of a man with a aubergine for a neck, a pumpkin for a body and lots of grapes on his head.

He said: ‘The best thing was seeing the artwork of pupils across the school in one place, it’s not often that we get a chance to do that.

‘I was so impressed with the paintings and drawings and I was proud of my own piece.

‘Now I know what it feels like to be a professional artist.’

Katie Burns, seven, who also drew a man made out of fruit, added: ‘My fruit man has a big watermelon as a body, bananas for his arms and tomatoes with a black dot in the middle for eyes.

‘I had so much fun making it and it felt amazing to have my drawing up in a real art exhibition.

‘Even though other people could have bought my art I ended up buying it as I like it so much!’

About two thirds of the exhibits were sold for £8 – with £2 of each sale going back to the school to enhance its creative curriculum budget.

Headteacher Anne Jones said: ‘It went marvellously well and the children were so excited, but conducted themselves like true professionals.’