Express & Star

Satirical artist helps launch special art show

An exhibition showcasing the works of young artists from across a city has been officially opened by a much-respected satirical artist.

Christopher Spencer, also know as Cold War Steve, poses with Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Greg Brackenridge and Mayoress Sureena Brackenridge

Christopher Spencer, better known as Cold War Steve, returned to Wolverhampton University's School of Art to launch the British Art Show 9-inspired exhibition, which is displaying work by students and pupils from 23 West Midlands schools.

Mr Spencer is a Wolverhampton University Honorary Graduate and a British collage artist and satirist and the creator of the Twitter feed @Coldwar_Steve.

He joined the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton to officially launch the exhibition, which was attended by more than 60 young people, teachers, artists and families who came together to celebrate the creative learning and achievements of young artists across the West Midlands.

He said: "I know how beneficial creating art can be for your mental health.

"The last two years have been tough for young people and to see work from all age groups and abilities on display feels like a breath of fresh air, symbolising the shoots of recovery coming through to blow away the past two years.

"This is a fabulous initiative and I’m really pleased to have been a part of it."

More than 120 artworks were displayed at Wolverhampton School of Art and Wolverhampton Art Gallery in celebration of the creative achievements of local young people who were inspired by BAS9 when the exhibition came to Wolverhampton for the first time.

Students from Colton Hills Community School exhibited a range of their artwork at the showcase.

Angelpreet Singh from Colton Hills Community School with her work, a sketch of Wolves football ground.

Hannah Willets, teacher of Art at Colton Hills, said: “It is such a valuable experience for our students to have their work displayed publicly.

"It builds their confidence by giving them the opportunity to showcase their creativity and individual identity.”

Emma Shuttleworth, a Year 8 student at Colton Hills Community School, said: “I liked my work being showcased in an exhibition because it’s being a part of something that allows me to express myself.

"I also like this because when there is a theme, I get to see others' interpretations."

Other schools taking part included Aldersley High School, Dudley College, Moreton School, Pegasus Academy, Q3 Academy Langley, Sandwell College, St Michaels’ C of E High School, The Phoenix Collegiate, Wednesfield Academy and Wolverhampton Grammar School.

A selection of the Inspired by BAS9 Young Artists work will be on display at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery ‘Making Space’ until May 15.

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