Art students get show at the castle

It might be the bicentenary year of the celebrated Norwich School of Artists but it will be those currently working in the county who come under the spotlight in an exhibition at Norwich Castle.

It is the bicentenary year of the celebrated Norwich School of Artists, but next month it will be those working in the county now who come under the spotlight.

A panel from the Royal Academy of Arts in London picked 114 works from 1115 submissions, including drawings, acrylics, prints and collage, to feature in a show at Norwich Castle.

Nicola Ovenden, director of the East Anglia Art Foundation, said: "The Open Art Exhibition will feature a mixture of some well- known professional artists and a number of people who we have not heard of before. They come from a broad spectrum of life; some are people who, when we phoned them afterwards, have other jobs, for example one works at a dental surgery.

"It was fantastic to have the Royal Academy of Arts panel. They are people who are immersed in the arts world in every layer and they know what they are looking for. It is going to be a very high-calibre show."

Chairman Maurice Cockrill, with Anthony Whishaw, Gus Cummins and Djordje Nedeljkovik, travelled to Norwich and viewed all the work on slides.

Mr Cockrill said: "We are delighted to be involved in this project. The high response to the call for entries demonstrates the commitment and creativity of artists in this region."

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This year, Norwich Castle is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Norwich School - a group of artists who in the 19th century formed the only regional school of painting in England - with a series of six new exhibitions promoted under the banner Landscape 200.

Vanessa Trevelyan, head of museums and archaeology, said: "As part of our Landscape 200 exhibition programme, we are particularly pleased to offer this wonderful opportunity for Norfolk artists to have their work on show at Norwich Castle."

During the exhibition, which opens on April 30 and runs until June 5, the art will be for sale.

Shaun Murphy, Norfolk County Council Cabinet member for libraries, museums, records and the arts, said: "The bicentenary not only offers an exciting opportunity to look back to the heyday of the Norwich School of artists but also to see what extraordinary talent we have in Norfolk today."

The exhibition is presented with the East Anglia Art Foundation, in association with the Norfolk Open Studios Scheme.

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