National showcases for our artists

We are extremely proud to say that work by members of Priestley’s talented Art & Design cohort has been selected for two national online galleries. You can find out more about their incredible achievement in securing positions in the SFCA exhibition and the Origins Creatives showcase below. Read on to also discover how their work is going to be seen by thousands of people shopping in Golden Square this summer.

Sixth Form College Association's Annual Exhibition

The Sixth Form College Association’s annual exhibition this year asked students to respond to the theme of ‘Fake News’.

Five pieces created by Priestley’s Lily Muir, Mia Potsig-Simpson, Yasmine Williams, Agata Motyl and Matthew Tongue were selected for the national exhibition, 

“After such a difficult year it is great these students have had something to celebrate and opportunities to showcase their work,” said Paul McConnell, Faculty Lead for Digital Art.

Bill Watkin, Chief Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, said, “The Fake News exhibition is a celebration of the arts and a recognition of the excellence in sixth form colleges, which are a vital supply pipeline of talented artists.

But it also highlights how young people feel about having to navigate the vast amount of news and information that is available in the modern world, and at the same time, to discern what is the truth.

“Art has always played an important role in social and political commentary, and the students featured in Fake News have shown they have the talent to communicate their feelings about this important subject in a powerful and effective way.”

Origins Creatives 2021 Showcase

Click the link above to ‘wander’ the space created for this year’s Origins Creatives exhibition, which features two Priestley College students, Mia Fletcher and Ellie Jones.

The exhibition features a diverse range of work produced by students across all subject areas. This annual showcase celebrates all that students on UAL Awarding Body qualifications have achieved this year.

You can discover the showcase on three platforms – The galleryThe ‘live’ event, and The playlist. These platforms showcase the work of 150 students, selected from over 600 submissions by our Curator, Monica Biagioli, Senior Lecturer in Design Innovation at London College of Communication.

Artwork produced by Priestley College students will be seen by thousands of people as they go about their daily business in Warrington this summer.

A digital exhibition created across disciplines as varied as textiles, architecture and photography is appearing on screens in Golden Square, which has a daily footfall of 18,000.

All Priestley’s art students – from those taking Fine Art to those working in design – put on a summer showcase every year for staff, family and visitors to view.

When Covid threatened to derail those plans staff began to think of other ways to display the students’ work.

Staff member Ken Halliday and Paul McConnell, Faculty Lead for Digital Art, approached Golden Square to see whether an exhibition could be arranged.

Now anyone wandering through the shopping centre will be able to see images of works including photographic portraits, poster designs, digital artwork, 3D design and architectural structures.

Paul said: “We have to thank everyone at Golden Square for giving our students this incredible opportunity to showcase their work.”

Priestley’s digital exhibition was called ‘Resolve’ as a tribute to the character shown by students – and staff – in continuing their education during the pandemic.

Ian Cox, Golden Square Centre Director, said: “It’s an honour to be able to host the exhibition and showcase the fantastic talent of Priestley’s students. We hope the exhibition might even inspire our visitors to unleash their inner artists.”

All the pieces can be seen at

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