A community arts facility in Seaham held an event recently to showcase the work of children and young adults.

The Spectrum Cultural Hub hosted the “Our Time” event and Councillor Leanne Kennedy, of Dawdon, came along to meet some of the participants and present certificates for their efforts.

The work is the result of two projects which Spectrum has been running to give young people the opportunity to share their perspective of the modern world and provide the mentorship and art skills to do this.

There was a diverse range of media on display, from stop-go animation to monoprint.

Councillor Kennedy was also treated to two demonstrations which show how modern technology is being used in creative contexts.

This event has largely been made possible thanks to the County Durham Community Foundation Youth Social Fund and Exhibit ‘A’rt Ltd., with other funding coming from East Durham Creates.

Kathryn Barnett, Studio Director for the Spectrum Cultural Hub, talks about the response to the project. “The young people came along with an open mind, made new friends, and talked about their interests over cups of tea and biscuits. They did not regard themselves as artists and yet they were doing creative things. It was nice to see so many visitors, too.

“Perhaps the most poignant aspect of the evening was the accompanying stories and artists’ statements.

“Some artworks celebrated the local coastline as a place to explore and a source of sea glass, some of which was turned into a group of collages.

“A painting by college student, Amber, also warned of the impact of pollution on the environment. Other subjects included anxiety and mental health conditions.”

One young man who struggles with Dyspraxia, ASD and depression, describes how he found the project workshops challenging but good for his confidence. He spent his time painting miniature fantasy figures and found a new audience for his work amongst the younger attendees.

Currently, he is in discussion with The Spectrum Cultural Hub about running his own workshops for young, (and older), people with a similar interest.