College student, Tom, 19, has won an award for his “excellent art work” exhibited at an Exeter College ‘Local Schools Art Exhibition’ at the Yard Gallery in Exeter.

Tom received his art award for his photography inspired by his love of trains from the Head of Exeter College’s Faculty of Art and Design.

Exeter Deaf Academy students Kenneth and Abigail, both 17 years old, also exhibited their artwork at the show, held in February. Tom, Kenneth and Abigail are currently studying in Foundation Learning at the Academy, working towards Level 2.

The Local Schools Art Exhibition was a collaborative project with a number of Devon schools including Tiverton High School, Blundells, Torquay Academy, The Park Community School Barnstable, St Peter’s High School, St James High School and Exeter Deaf Academy.

Selected pupils representing their school met existing art students at Exeter College to get a feel for what it would be like to study Art. Students were also invited to a private view along with their friends and family to celebrate their work in the exhibition.

The awards were designed to engage and motivate student’s creativity, and give them the opportunity to experience exhibiting art in a public space.

Deaf Academy Art Teacher, Claire Boyt was approached by Exeter College to select student work to display at the exhibition. She chose pieces from the Identity Project by her Foundation Year in 2016.

Claire said, ‘All three of our students created photography work from our Identity Project, based around the theme of their personal identity. Tom loves trains so created a collage inspired by his passion for them. Kenny produced a self-portrait using computer parts, and Abigail’s work was linked to being Deaf and people signing’.

Claire continued, ‘It’s important for Deaf young people to recognise their identities and explore where they stand in the world. Photography and art is a really easy way to explore this and Tom, Ken and Abigail all produced strong pieces of work.’

She added that Tom was surprised and delighted to learn that he had won the award for his work. He has received a certificate from Nigel Watts, Head of Faculty, at the Faculty of Art and Design at Exeter College, “in recognition of excellent art work exhibited at the Yard Gallery”.

Helen Burak, Deputy Head of Art and Design at Exeter College said, ‘The aim of this project is to inspire and engage school pupils to aspire to the creative arts as a possible progression choice; to help bridge the gap between School and College and to reward the fantastic creative talents we have in our local schools’.

Claire said: ‘Being in an exhibition at Exeter College is a real achievement’.