World-renowned artist, Sophie Ryder, opened the SATIPS National Prep Schools' Art Exhibition, which is enjoying the first year of it's two year residency at Cheltenham Prep. This year's exhibition, which features over 400 pieces of artwork, showcases artistic talent by pupils from nursery classes through the Year 8, at Prep Schools all over the country.
"I was so proud when The Prep won the opportunity to host the SATIPS National Prep Schools' Art Exhibition in 2016 and 2017," said Cheltenham Prep's Head of Art, Mrs Alayne Parsley. "However, back in 2014 it seemed such a long way away... Suddenly after months of planning and weeks of hanging and curating we have opened for our first Private View!" The first of a whole weekend of special events to celebrate the exhibition's opening was especially for parents and pupils at The Prep, on Friday evening. Any apprehensions the Art Department may have had about how the show would be received were soon a distant memory: the positive reactions from all who visited has been fantastic! A visiting parent said: "Thank you for this amazing exhibition. It made me so emotional to see this talent; big lump in my throat throughout! The self esteem this gives the children is priceless."
On Saturday, the School welcomed more than 60 VIP’s including Head teachers and Art teachers from all over the country, as far as Northumberland, Kent, Plymouth and London. The event's Guest of Honour, Sophie Ryder, spoke beautifully about the importance of art in schools and in life generally: "It's wonderful to see so many mediums on display," said the world-renowned sculpture artist. "I've always tried to have a go at everything I can get my hands on - craft and textiles as well as pencil and paint and everything else. The exhibition shows such diversity and creativity."
On Sunday it was the turn of those children exhibiting and their families. The School opened its doors at 10.00 to a family who had travelled from London, stayed overnight in a hotel and made a weekend of it. Fabulous! The whole day was an absolute joy, with thrilled children showing their proud parents their work exhibited in a national exhibition. Around 800 people visited the exhibit over the weekend, and Cheltenham Prep has gone on to welcome school groups from The Downs Malvern, Holme Grange, Christchurch Primary, Berkhampsted, St James’ Primary, Airthrie School and Salisbury Cathedral School during the week. They all brought delighted children to look at the exhibits and draw.
The Exhibition is open until 18.00 daily. Cheltenham Prep Parents are welcome to visit at pick up times, but must make an appointment if visits are required during the school day. The Exhibition closes on Friday 6 May. Watch this space for news of the SATIPS National Prep Schools' Art Exhibition 2017 (we can’t wait!).