Jamie Keenan, Middlesbrough Test Town Initiative
A NORTH East art student has snapped up an opportunity to exhibit his illustrations across the country after being discovered on Instagram.
Cleveland College of Art & Design fine art student Jamie Keenan, 20, of Middlesbrough, was offered the chance to showcase his artwork as part of a nationwide project to use derelict spaces in city environments.
The invitation came after Jamie’s drawings were spotted on his online picture site.
“I was contacted by a local entrepreneurial company Bubblecreativitea which was taking part in Middlesbrough’s Test Town Initiative project,” said Jamie.
“They had taken over an empty building in the Dundas Arcade and were inviting young artists in the region to exhibit their work.
“I was able to display a number of illustrations and the company also allowed us to sell our work without them taking any profit on the sales.”
The Middlesbrough Test Town Initiative project is part of wider national competition, including seven other major towns and city’s across the UK, run and funded by the Carnegie UK Trust, offering young people the opportunity to road test business ideas.
Middlesbrough start up business Bubblecreativitea, whose idea of serving up traditional Taiwanese Bubble Tea and showcasing upcoming young artists in an empty retail space, won over the judges securing them a place in the competition finals and another opportunity to set up a pop up exhibition in Oxford later in the year.
“Bubblecreativitea has already been in touch with me to ask if I would be happy to submit more of my work for its next exhibition,” said Jamie, who was also shortlisted for The One Show’s Summer Art Competition where his painting of Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge was chosen to be displayed in The Royal Academy of Art.
“They told me that my pieces were some of the most popular in the show and I even managed to sell my first illustration.”
Jamie will be continuing his art studies at The Northern School of Art in September after enrolling on the college’s illustration degree course at its Hartlepool campus.
For more information on opportunities at The Northern School of Art contact (01642) 288888 or log on to www.ccad.ac.uk.