Local academies take part in inaugural East Art Exhibition

This month ten academies in the East of England held its inaugural East Art Exhibition to celebrate students talents.


The event brought together art work and student performances from all the academies many talented artists, musicians and dancers for an inspiring cultural evening at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich (SCVA).

Each OAT academy in the Eastern region displayed six pieces of their students strongest work in the exhibition, with parents, friends, and family all invited to enjoy supper and learn more about OAT’s strong commitment to further development of the arts.

The event incorporated some fantastic student performances with the talented boys dance group from Edward Worlledge performing with older Ormiston Victory students; a singer songwriter, Jacob Edwards, from Ormiston Victory Academy, who is also performing as part of the Young Norfolk Arts Festival; and, a string quartet from City of Norwich School - an Ormiston Academy.

The exhibition was judged by panel made up of Sally Adams, a talented local artist and author, who is responsible for painting two of the G-Go Hares currently on display in the city; Pasco-Q Kevlin, Director of Norwich Arts Centre and James Murray, Chief Executive of the Ormiston Trust.

Three overall winners were selected - a piece by a Sixth Former from Ormiston Victory, a Year 11 student from Ormiston Denes and a young sculptor from Edward Worlledge. The winners received professional art packs to continue their work and every child who had work exhibited received a smaller art set.

The event was held in honour of the Ormiston Trust (OT), a national charity and its founder, Peter Murray OBE. The Ormiston Trust is OAT’s parent body, having set up the now leading Multi-Academy Trust in 2008. Peter Murray founded the Ormiston Trust to improve the life chances of children and young people and this has always been the guiding principle behind Ormiston Academies Trust’s work.

Peter’s son James, Chief Executive of the Ormiston Trust, was keen to organise an art exhibition, as the Trust has always worked to encourage young people to pursue their talents and express themselves through art. The Murray family has a strong connection to the art world through Peter’s mother Ethel Murray, an artist who worked closely with Matisse and Henry Moore.

The inaugural art exhibition is one of several Trust wide sporting and cultural events and initiatives that OAT academies have the opportunity to take part in. Such events are part of the Trust’s commitment to providing students across its network with a range of enrichment activities, designed to broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations, through its Enrichment Charter.

The academies participating in the exhibition included Ormiston Denes Academy, in Lowestoft; City of Norwich School; Ormiston Victory Academy in Norwich; Cliff Park Ormiston Academy and Edward Worrledge Ormiston Academy both in Great Yarmouth.

Naomi Palmer, Director of Strategic Partnerships East, OAT and Principal of Ormiston Victory Academy, who organised the event said:

"The inaugural East Art Exhibition was a huge success. I would like to thank all the talented students and staff involved, parents and carers who supported the event and attended and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts for their continued support.

"The work on display was of such high-quality that some of it was sold on the night, despite it not being an auction! We are so proud to have offered children and their families a special night to remember - and hope to achieve this again in subsequent years. Overall, it was a truly fantastic way to celebrate the important work of Peter Murray and the Ormiston Trust."

Gwayne Webb, Regional Director East, Ormiston Academies Trust said:

"I would like to congratulate all the talented students involved for making this such a brilliant and inspiring event and a fantastic way to honour our parent body the Ormiston Trust.

"This event is a great example of the collaboration and exciting initiatives that our academies in the East of England are involved in and the benefits for students. By working together and sharing ideas, we are able to create exciting opportunities for the young people we serve to engage in a broad range of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities, designed to broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations."

James Murray, Chief Executive, Ormiston Trust said:

"I would like to thank everyone at OAT, especially the students for a truly fantastic evening. All the judges were bowled over by the quality of the art work on display and the student performances on the night were truly inspiring. “It is so important to encourage and celebrate the talents of all our young people. I hope this event will help to inspire the budding artists and musicians at all OAT academies to believe in their talents, pursue their dreams and help them to fulfil their potential."