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’

Arts Centre Washington’s annual Youth Arts Exhibition is looking for submissions for BRIGHT LIGHTS 2022. Supported by Sunderland Culture, BRIGHT LIGHTS will showcase some of the most exciting artwork by young people in Washington and the Greater Sunderland Area, and will be curated by The Celebrate Different Collective.  
This is an exciting opportunity for 11-19 year olds to submit artwork for display in Arts Centre Washington’s professional gallery.  
Submissions of existing and newly created work across art forms including visual arts, sculpture, music, video and creative writing are welcomed. 

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.


  • You can submit a maximum of three artworks.  
  • As we are limited in space, we have a restriction of A1 size for 2D artwork, and 1mx1m (footprint) for 3D or sculptural work. Please consider this when submitting your work for review. 

Submission deadline:. 4pm on Monday 17th of January 2022 – We will let you know whether you have been successful on Friday 28th of January 2022. 
Please note: if you are selected, physical submissions will be accepted on Thursday 3rd of February 3.30pm-8.30pm, Friday 4th February 10am-4pm and Saturday 5th February 10am-3.30pm  

At the end of the exhibition, artwork can be collected from  13th April all artwork must be collected by 30 April. 

*** Schools wishing to enter works from multiple artists can e-mail [email protected] ***

Find out about our free weekly sessions for young artists here