Art students at Coleg Menai have launched an online version of their annual art exhibition, having been unable to hold their exhibition this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lecturer Owein Prendergast and the team at Parc Menai have been supporting their students to continue working during the lockdown. As a result, a unique exhibition has been curated, which the team hope will also become a permanent record of this extraordinary time within our community.

Owein Prendergast explained:

The WJEC diploma in foundation studies (Art Foundation course) is an intense one-year course, the highlight of which is the Final Major Project that culminates in a high-quality public exhibition.

It was a very sad day when the college was forced to close its doors on the 20th March, right at the beginning of the Final Major Project, and it seemed that many exciting and ambitious projects were never going to see the light of day.

A decision was quickly made that we should try to carry on remotely. This was uncharted territory but, as a major part of an artist's role is to document the society we live in, we felt this was an opportunity for students to express this experience in an assignment that will resonate its impact for generations to come.

As lecturers, we have been truly inspired by the students' responses - despite initial disappointment, they have embraced the situation, and showed extraordinary ambition and resourcefulness. Within a few days, they had all set up home studios utilising whatever space they had to hand and were working seriously within them.

We met students via video calls every week, and every time we left these calls, we felt cheered and excited by the work that was being produced.

The online exhibition of the students' Final Projects has now been launched, and each student image links to individual student blogs within which they have curated their own exhibition.

Owein continued:

These exhibitions truly reflect the broad nature of a good foundation experience with work being produced in a huge range of disciplines. Lockdown certainly didn't inhibit their creativity. There are also image galleries of college activity up until lockdown, and student's lockdown studio spaces.

On behalf of all staff on the course, I would like to wish the students all the best for their continued studies, across the UK. Many congratulations on an excellent and varied exhibition in extraordinary times, and thank you for inspiring us all.

You can visit the online exhibition here:

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