‘I feel really proud’ - Gallery on coast exhibits children’s paintings

Elsie Moore, 7, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Elsie Moore, 7, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

Paintings created over the summer months have been exhibited in a gallery on the coast - by artists all under 11-years-old.

Tara Galvin and Sharon Thomson run no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wi

Tara Galvin and Sharon Thomson run no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

The gallery, no. 36 theartworkshop, on Bells Road in Gorleston, has been running a children’s art club since reopening after lockdown in July.

Sharon Thomson, 54, who opened the space last year, and runs the club with Tara Galvin, said: “We didn’t know how people would respond after lockdown, we didn’t know if parents would want their kids to come back.

“But all the regulars came back and we also got some new interest, so that was heartwarming.

“We had a really good positive summer with them.”

Eloise Beckett, 10, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Eloise Beckett, 10, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

The gallery put on the exhibition at the end of the summer holidays to say thank you to the children.

“They worked hard and produced some really good art,” Ms Thomson said.

“We felt the children should have the experience too of being in an exhibition.

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“I just feel really proud of what they’re doing, and that we’re able to give them that opportunity.”

Nate Warnes, 8, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Nate Warnes, 8, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

After bringing up four children of her own, while working part-time as a teaching assistant, Ms Thomson graduated this year with a degree in Fine Art from the Norwich University of Art (NUA).

She said the value of art for children is “immense”.

“I feel quite passionate about that. Art has taken a backseat in education but creativity is in every walk of life, it comes into all the different subjects at school.

“Art allows them to be an individual.

Paignton Galvin and Lucy Harris, both 7, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture

Paignton Galvin and Lucy Harris, both 7, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

“Not every child is academic, and art is another voice, it’s another way of expressing yourself.

“I think with children, they’re not set in their ways, they’re open to every kind of experimentation.

“The messier, the more fun,” she said.

Her purpose in opening the gallery was to prove that painting and sculpture are for everyone.

Children enjoying an art workshop at a gallery on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Children enjoying an art workshop at a gallery on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

“I think that galleries can be quite intimidating places, but we’ve opened in the local community and we always want it to be a place people feel comfortable in,” she said.

“We’re getting people in who wouldn’t ordinarily walk into a gallery.”

And hosting the children’s workshop means they are making the gallery a “normal place at an early age”, she added.

The venue’s Facebook page, with details of workshops and exhibitions, cab be found here.

No 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

No 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

Eloise Beckett, 10, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Eloise Beckett, 10, at no 36 theartworkshop on Bells Road in Gorleston. Picture: Ella Wilkinson. - Credit: Archant

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