Exhibition of works by children and young people from Bradford

A RANGE of artwork from children in the Bradford district, which includes a poignant depiction of the conflict in Ukraine, was on display.

Work was submitted by Peel Park Art Club, Newby Primary School Art Club, current students and other local children aged 2-17.

The work included landscapes, portraits and animal themes

The exhibit, at Peel Park Elementary School, was, according to organizer Lynne Dobson, “a resounding success.”

Lynne, a retired Bradford artist and art teacher, and regular T&A columnist, reveals more about the company:

“I do my best to showcase and promote children’s art and for the past few months have been desperately trying to find a place in central Bradford to set up a children’s art exhibition, with no success.

Not wanting to give up, and more importantly, let the kids down, I approached Peel Park Primary, the school from which I retired. They came to the rescue and offered their school room. Perfect!

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Freya Shifaa with her self-portrait Freya Shifaa with her self-portrait

The next two or three weeks were devoted to the preparation of all the exhibitions of paintings, drawings and collages. I think it is important to present child labor well. After all, if it was mine, I’d spend time applying mounts and frames where appropriate. Their work is no less important. It’s like choosing an outfit and getting dressed for an important event – then we can look in the mirror and say “Yes, perfect”.

Similarly, when we have carefully chosen a frame color and then a frame color and style, then we can stand back and be proud of our work.

This exhibition was to highlight the work of the last six to twelve months, created by a cross section of groups. These included the Newby and Peel Park Primary School Art Clubs, my three private tuition students, some individual pieces from an art session I did with my neighbour’s children and even the wild finger and sponge paintings of my two-year-old grandson.

There was a wide range of ages presented, from two to 17, which underscored how important and beneficial art is throughout childhood, whether for fun or for relaxation, and to see young people go through periods of anxiety such as tests and exams.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: one of the portraits on displayOne of the portraits exhibited

Both art clubs produced exciting works of art using the same themes and ideas, but portrayed in slightly different ways.

One club chose animals as the theme for their first canvas painting, and the other landscapes. Both subjects were very successful. The portraits were an experiment, using soft pastels with fine line markers. Some girls opted for self portraits while others used models etc. on the Internet.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Miley Surtees with her portraitMiley Surtees with her portrait

For the textile landscapes, the clubs looked to photographs and images of the Yorkshire moors. Taking colors and shapes, they used a variety of fabrics, wools and yarns to create the colorful pieces. Clubs have also discovered the effect of white pens on black paper.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: some of the striking artwork on display Some of the striking artwork on display

During the start of the school year, children will become multidisciplinary artists, combining painting with music, drawing with sport and athletic movements, for example. All these new disciplines make art even more fun and exciting.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chelsea Rawson with her sunset landscape Chelsea Rawson with her landscape at sunset

Among the pieces by individual artists were beautiful acrylic paintings.

I was delighted to include a very poignant piece by one of my former students. Lydia Wilby’s family is from Ukraine and she had painted a portrait of her mother as a young girl. He was surrounded by pencil drawings of tanks and destruction. At first glance, seeing the room, it looks unfinished. However, Lydia had attached the following explanation: “This is a painting of my mother, a Ukrainian, in the 1980s. In the background, I have included parts that represent Ukraine and what affects Ukraine leaving it unpainted shows that it is difficult to remember the past.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lydia Wilby with her portrait of her Ukrainian mother Lydia Wilby with her portrait of her Ukrainian mother

It’s a great example of how art is able to arouse emotions. A piece of music can bring back happy or sad memories, make us want to dance around the room, or just lay down quietly and close our eyes. A book can take us to a different world. All the arts can bring a tear to the eye, whether of sadness or joy.

As I quietly prepared the billboards in an empty classroom, I realized how lucky I was to have crossed paths with all these young artists. With boards ready and placed on tables, for all to admire, I stood back, heart blazing with pride and waited for visitors to enter and be suitably impressed.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: art drew on various creative disciplinesThe art involved various creative disciplines

My father was an artist and encouraged me to draw and paint from an early age. So it was heartwarming to see families, from all cultures, not only discussing their own child’s work, but taking an interest in all the art on display.

Watching the kids proudly show off their masterpieces and also take an interest in the work of their peers made all the hard work and late nights worthwhile.

This is how art should make everyone feel and I hope children will remember these exciting proud moments for the rest of their lives.

The exhibition was a resounding success, and I want to thank all the staff, friends, families, Telegraph & Argus photographer Mike Simmonds for the photos, and especially the children for making it so.

* Tonight, Lynne appears on BBC2’s Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist – a celebration of why people love making and creating art of all kinds. In the programme, Joe follows a mix of artists, including Lynne, who has submitted work to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – the world’s largest open-ended art competition.

* Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist is on the BBC tonight at 8 p.m.

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