South Yorkshire students turn town into an exhibition space for art

Clarissa Smith
Clarissa Smith

Students have created an art tour of their work in a South Yorkshire town, including exhibiting at their own ‘Tate gallery’.

Art students at Trinity Academy, in Thorne, have turned the town into an exhibition space after shop and business owners agreed to offer their walls and windows for display.

Now their work, from A Level and GCSE courses, is hanging in 11 venues from greengrocers to cafes and hair salons.

Local people are being invited to tour the exhibition with quiz questions to answer as they go, with competition winners selected from the entries handed into the academy, in Church Balk.

Head of art and textiles at Trinity Academy, Laura Dallet, said: “There are a lot of artistic people in Thorne, not least our own students, but there isn’t a suitable exhibition venue. I knew I wanted the students’ work to be exhibited where the wider public could see it, so I decided to approach local businesses to see if they would support us.

“I’m really pleased that so many shops and businesses have been so generous in giving us their window and interior wall space. It’s very exciting and encouraging for the students to see their work being admired by people in Thorne.”

Work was selected to fit with each venue so Olivia Wales Alice in Wonderland-inspired piece is in Bliss café and Ruth Wheatley and other students’ organic still lifes are in Gravels fruit and vegetables shop.

The exhibition has even led to a commission for portraitist Sineade Hazel, 17, of Moorends, and Phoebe Leech, 16, of Stainforth, has had a client at Headroom hair salon, in The Green, offer to buy her work.

Tate Jones hairdressers, in Fieldside, has five large portraits in its prime spot windows leading clients to dub it Thorne’s Tate gallery.

Clarissa Smith, Katie Clarke and Chloe Sutton, all 17, are among the sixth formers with work on display.

“The message behind mine is the three visions of me, how I feel at different times including when I explode occasionally,” said Clarissa.

Chloe revealed she is influenced by cartoon art in her work, and Katie explained: “The monotone of my self portrait reflects the deeper, darker emotions, but I also wanted to incorporate flashes of colour to signify happy times.”

Mark Tate, co-owner of the salon, said: “We have such big windows, we like art and it’s good for the public to see it so they can see what talent there is in the town. It is attracting a lot of attention and we’re really happy to support the students.”

Judi Jones, at Headroom, added: “I’ve always been interested in art and went to art college myself so we and our clients are enjoying having them.”

The closing date for competition entries is April 25.