Youth Arts Exhibition 2022: Bright Lights

 11 February – 2 April 2022 

Above images from Bright Lights 2021 ‘Beth Gillespie – Who Am I’ ‘Grace Fryer – Friend in Room’ ‘Kate Mitchell – The Sunbreak Catch’ 

This event forms part of this year’s Bright Lights: Youth Arts Festival 2022

The Youth Arts Exhibition is a staple in our main Gallery’s calendar. Last year the event had to be a bit different – including a Youth Arts exhibition takeover of The Galleries Shopping Centre and a virtual 3D recreation of the Art Gallery!

This year we are making the exhibition bigger and better than ever by introducing a week long Bright Lights Youth Arts Festival and Young Artists workshop to run alongside the exhibition.

Each year we receive more and more high quality pieces of artwork from young people aged 11 – 19. This year we are continuing to work with our team of young curators, supported by professionals, to select work for the best promising young artists aged 11-19 living in the city.

Bright Lights 2022 will be inspired this year by Where There’s Space to Grow  exhibition. Where There’s Space to Grow is an exhibition curated by Celebrate Different Collective, a group of young people living in Sunderland, which creatively reflects on the industrial decline of the 1980s in North East England, while looking ahead to a shared progressive future.   

Arts Council Collection artworks sit alongside new works created by local Sunderland residents which reveal stories that encourage us to dig deep. Championing diversity in a shifting cultural and physical landscape, this exhibition asks: how can we create space for all of us to grow? 

This year’s themes are:  

Progressive Future 

Nature and landscape  




Ongoing Pandemic 

Youth Unemployment 

Gender and Diversity 



The Celebrate Different Collective is a group of young people aged 13-25 from across Sunderland who, with support from Sunderland Culture, co-produce and run their own cultural events, work with artists and learn new practical skills.

Bright Lights Young Artists Collective
Find out about our free weekly sessions for young artists here

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