18th May 2020

Artists from around the world will join Devon students in a revolutionary exhibition which has been inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.

When the students at South Devon College first went into lockdown it looked as if their end-of-year Summer Exhibition was under threat. But instead Art and Design programme co-ordinator Pav Szymanski came up with a new way to run an Online Summer Exhibition and quarterly magazine to showcase their work.

The Creative Team at University Centre South Devon and South Devon College will be hosting their final year show virtually for invitees to experience the spectacular work of the College’s fantastic students. Their private view will be a multi-screen video conference format and people will be able to discuss the work on display using Zoom.

The unique format was so exciting that a dozen top international artists have agreed to take part in the event and now excited students are working from home to prepare for the first ever exhibition of its type.

The idea came after artist and fine art lecturer, Pav, took part in an international conference of artists earlier this year: “I realised then the potential in connecting hundreds of people simultaneously and how it could be achieved. I immediately knew, this would be the perfect solution for our students.”

Pawel ‘Pav’ Szymanski – Fine Art Lecturer at South Devon College

The event will include interviews with the professional artists and students who produce the most exciting work.

The format is a collaboration between Art and Design and the Hi Tech and Digital departments.

Pav said: “The prospect of disappointing everyone by not having a summer exhibition and denying our students an opportunity to show their talent was unacceptable.

“The idea of organising this ambitious online venture came about from my involvement in the prestigious Dubai Ideathon 2020.

“I was selected out of over 300 applicants to play an active role together with 100 fellow international artists and designers.

“Despite these compromising conditions, which you might think would prevent us from having a summer exhibition, we are putting together something very special. We will be joined at that time by artists from many countries, who are supporting our innovative response to the crisis, by producing their own work to enrich our exhibition.

“It’s really exciting in these difficult times to be able to construct an exciting and revolutionary platform for students to present their work.

“The notion of an online art magazine seemed the natural way to go to prolong and elevate the artwork long after the event and give the work longevity. We are currently working on the design and format. The first edition will include interviews and work produced by both our students and invited artists. This will be updated on a quarterly basis.

“We are all really looking forward to this exciting venture.”

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