UWE art students are best in the west

Issue date: 08 April 2010

From left: Gaby Selby  and Katie Harnett Two students from the University of the West of England have won the regional heats and made it through to the finals of Art of Nurture, a prestigious national art competition run by Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance.

The winners of the South West and Wales heats of the competition were announced at an exhibition at The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. Katie Harnett and Gaby Selby, from UWE's School of Creative Arts, will go head to head with students from across the UK in a bid to have their designs used in a high profile national advertising campaign for Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance.

Now in its fourth year, Art of Nurture encourages students to creatively express Commercial Finance's core values of flexibility and support.

This year sees The Prince's Trust, a life changing charity for disadvantaged young people, involved with the competition, along with Arts & Business, the national charity dedicated to encouraging new and sustainable arts and business relationships.

Katie, originally from Sheffield and Gaby, from Spain will have their work shown at the Saatchi Gallery, London at the national final on 13 April. Judged by top industry experts, the panel will include artist and illustrator Brian Grimwood who has worked on posters and advertising campaigns all over the world.

In addition to seeing their work used in a campaign, the three national winners will also be given the opportunity to take paid work placements.

James Hester, regional director for Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance in the South West and Wales said, “The Art of Nurture competition always attracts a very high quality of entries and this year is no exception. Some 500 entries were put forward from students at over 50 art colleges across the UK and our judges faced a tough decision in choosing Katie and Gaby, so it is testament to the quality of their work that they are now going through to the national final.

“This competition is a huge opportunity for anyone wanting to pursue a career in art and design as it shows they are able to accurately follow a brief and produce professional work. Through Lloyds TSB Commercial Finances' advertising campaign the winners will be able to showcase their work to the business world.”

The South West and Wales submissions were judged by a panel including Maxine Relton, Royal West of England Academy Trustee, James Taljaard regional director for Arts and Business and artist Mary Rouncefield, one of last year's Art of Nurture finalists who integrates maths into her pieces.

Katie said: “I'm delighted to have got this far in the competition and to be able to boost my portfolio with the experience gained in developing visuals for a commercial marketing campaign.

“It has been great to take part in such an exciting contest and I really am looking forward to the next stage.”

Gaby added: “Knowing my work was picked as one of the best in the South West by industry professionals is a real confidence boost and I'm looking forward to the final. This is a fantastic opportunity and a national advertising campaign will look great on my CV.”

A limited edition boxed set of art by previous winners was available for purchase at the event and the last three national winners have donated their winning artwork for a silent auction to be held at the national final at the Saatchi Gallery, with all proceeds going to the Prince's Charities.

For more information about the competition, go to www.artofnurture.co.uk

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