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Six graduates are selected for pioneering visual arts programme

Six University of Gloucestershire graduates are among the nine artists who have been selected to be part of a pioneering art studio programme at The Wilson Museum and Art Gallery in Cheltenham.

The ‘We are Creators’ programme supports emerging visual artists from across Gloucestershire to develop their practice and build careers in the visual arts sector, while also providing a platform for culture and creativity to thrive and develop within the county.

The nine artists in residence for the 2024 programme include University graduates Nic Pehkonen (MA Fine Art), Dominyka Vincaite (MA Illustration), Jade Fisher (BA Hons Photography: Editorial and Advertising), Genaro Martinez Medina (MA Illustration), Jo Hepburn (BA Hons Fine Art) and Jamie Banks, who graduated from BA Hons Fine Art and is now undertaking a Master’s by Research in Art.

head and shoulders photo of Jamie Banks

Benefits include an independent studio space at The Wilson for 12 months, an exhibition space at the Sir Charles Irving Community Art Gallery for one month, creative production guidance and support for in-house exhibitions from The Wilson’s team of creative producers, and a supportive community of fellow resident artists.

Jamie Banks (pictured left) said: “Being a part of the ‘We Are Creators’ residency will allow me to apply all the fundamental skills that I learnt throughout my undergraduate programme, and enable me to develop my practice.

“My success within the programme is down to the high standard of both academic, and practical teaching, along with the professional development I received from all staff members working on the Fine Art department.”

Dr Matthew Lovett, Associate Head (Outreach and Engagement) of the University’s School of Creative Arts, said: “The ‘We are Creators’ programme at The Wilson is a fantastic platform for emerging artists from across Gloucestershire to showcase their creative talent and imagination.

“We’re extremely proud that, thanks to their talent, ambition and professional practice, six of our graduates have won an opportunity to express their vision and ideas, and bring their work to the attention of a new audience.”

Dr Lovett added: “Our partnership with The Wilson is providing our students with excellent opportunities to gain meaningful experience, alongside their academic programmes, working with talented professionals from the arts sector.

“We’re looking forward to collaborating with them on many more exciting projects that will bring further benefits to the wider community and support our students in making important connections and developing their future careers.”

Testament to quality of teaching

Oliver Tipper, Participation Officer at The Wilson, said: “Our relationship with University of Gloucestershire is historically important and highly valued by The Wilson.

“The partnership has led to some stunning exhibitions and powerful contributions from students and graduates that the wider community has been able to experience and enjoy.

“A large number of artists applied to be part of the 2024 ‘We are Creators’ programme, so it’s testament to the quality of the teaching that six out of the nine artists selected are graduates of the University.”

Main image: top row, left to right: Were are Creators artists Nic Pehkonen, Jo Hepburn, Jade Fisher, Genaro Martinez Medina, Megan Burridge; bottom row, left to right: Millie Elliott, Zariq Rosita-Hanif, Dominyka Vincaite