Free art exhibition at the Gala Gallery

Colorful works of art created by young adults who need extra support were featured in a free exhibition.

We Can We Will, by The Wider World Project, will be on display at the Gala Gallery in Durham City, which is run by Durham County Council, until Friday 30 December.

The exhibition follows months of art workshops led by North East artist Dawn Felicia Knox, which have taken place at the Durham Gala, Wharton Park and Belmont Community Center since May. The project was financed by the town hall.

The project was developed after the group took part in sessions based on the work of the late Norman Cornish at the gallery in 2019. The members continued to create artwork afterwards with a small photography exhibition at their base at the Belmont Community Center.

Dawn was contacted to organize sessions for We Can We Will.

Workshops focused on multimedia art, particularly around photography, painting, creative writing and film.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Council Cabinet Member for Economics and Partnerships, said: “It’s great to see such bright and engaging artwork being created through the project. We are happy to have been able to finance the various workshops which the participants greatly appreciated.

“Thumbs up to all for the brilliant art that was produced.”

Project members have already had a chance to view their work after attending a special preview event at Gala Gallery alongside family and friends. They also participated in the hanging of works of art and the organization of the exhibition in the gallery.

Speaking about their exhibited work, one member said, “I like all my friends’ pictures. It was overwhelming to see everyone at the Gala.

Another said of the workshops: “We want to be seen, to be part of the local community and to make a difference in the world we live in.”

Dawn said, “It was an honor and a joy to work with the group and share the skills needed to help them achieve their vision.”

The Wider World Project helps young adults aged 16-35 in County Durham who have additional support needs. The program helps members engage in activities that promote skill development, self-esteem, confidence and promote positive awareness of disability.

The exhibition can be viewed free of charge at Gala Gallery from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or Sunday from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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