Light & Soul – The Next Generation

7th July 2023

Fusion was delighted to join with Barnsley Museums to deliver Light and Soul: The Next Generation Art Competition for Schools. The competition, open to all schools in the Borough from March to May 2023, was designed in direct response to requests from schools for a platform in Barnsley to showcase the artistic talents of children and young people. 

Julie Meiner, Co-Headteacher at Kings Oak Primary Learning Centre and member of Fusion’s Steering Group said:

“During Covid our children really missed the ability to showcase their work. It is key to building up confidence again as well as raising aspiration and encouraging a sense of pride.”

All ages and abilities were welcome, and 175 entries were submitted overall. 15 winning entries were exhibited as part of The Cooper Gallery’s major summer 2023 exhibition of beautiful paintings and drawings ‘Light and Soul: Early Impressions of the French Landscape.’  All entries will be exhibited online in Fusion’s new Online Gallery. Pupils, their families and teachers received VIP treatment at the exhibition private view as they were handed prizes by the Mayor and given the chance to see their work on display. 

Barnsley Museums Team: The Next Generation – creative work experience opportunities at the Cooper Gallery

As part of Fusion’s Creative Careers programme funded by BMHT, pupils from The Ellis School visited the Gallery to help dress the exhibition’s interactive space. They worked alongside the Exhibition Officer and Collections and Exhibition Manager as they put the final touches to the exhibition. 

Following the experience, the children wrote this short blog:

On Thursday 22nd June, William and Mia spent time at the Cooper Gallery helping the Exhibition Officer.  They had the exciting task of helping to prepare the gallery for the Light and Soul exhibition.

William enjoyed the experience and learnt new skills: “My main role was to help with the lighting by carefully measuring the light shining on the pieces of art. It was quite tricky because drawings need to be below 50 lux and paintings below 200 lux. I really enjoyed learning about how to measure light and how important it was to preserve the pieces of art.”

Mia had the opportunity to show her creative flair and help dress the Sadler Room for an interactive experience for families.  “I loved helping to create a woodland area for children to imagine that they are in the Forest of Fontainebleau.  I had a lovely day and found the gallery so interesting.”

Light & Soul – The Next Generation