Southern Rail makes room for college art

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Southern Rail has formed an exciting partnership with Sussex Downs College in Lewes, which has a significant reputation for its visual and performing arts, interactive media and literature courses throughout the South East.

Art on the Line is part of Southern Rail’s plan to introduce contemporary art to its stations to promote local emerging artists and enhance the commuter experience.

The project has already begun with the transformation of four recently refurbished waiting rooms into mini art galleries at Lewes station, a busy commuter station between Brighton and London with a footfall of 10,000 commuters a day.

The mini galleries have come to life thanks to selected work by Sussex Downs College students who are planning careers in the creative industries – currently one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK.

The 25 individual pieces span genres including painting, illustration, photography and English language, with some of it already having achieved recognition through prestigious awards. The pieces represent the progression of Sussex Downs College students, who hail from more than 15 different schools across East and West Sussex.

James Horton, President of the Royal Society of British Artists, will officially launch Art on the Line at Lewes station on Tuesday January 21.

Running from 10am to 11am, the event will also be attended by local dignitaries including The Mayor of Lewes Cllr Ruth O’ Keeffe, Head of Sussex Downs Lewes College Sherry Russell, and Lewes resident and renowned performance poet John Agard, who recently received the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry.

Sussex Downs College students from the East Sussex Academy of Music will perform at the launch, including John Sturt, who performed for the Queen during her recent visit to Lewes. John is one of eight students this year from Sussex Downs College who have been successful in securing places at some of the top music conservatoires in the UK.

Katie Richards, Lewes Station Manager, said: “This is a very exciting project that demonstrates Southern Rail’s commitment to the local community as well as to making the commuter experience a much more enjoyable one for all its customers.”

Sherry Russell, Head of Sussex Downs Lewes College, said: “We are glad to have the opportunity to demonstrate the wealth of talent that we have in our community and that we are able to nurture at Sussex Downs Lewes College.”




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