Worcester Graduate Exhibiting Work at Barber Institute of Fine Arts

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Illustration graduate Cheryl Howard has credited the University of Worcester with building her confidence and understanding, as her work goes on display at a major regional exhibition.

35 year-old Cheryl is one of three Worcester graduates selected to display pieces as part of the New Art West Midlands 2014 initiative, with her work being exhibited at Birmingham’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts until April 27.

Cheryl, who graduated in 2012, explains: “It is highly rewarding to be recognised and selected to exhibit to potentially thousands of people.

“I feel passionately about the reasons for creating my illustrations, so to achieve recognition on top of that is fantastic. I hope my images inspire and intrigue the viewers, and that the exhibition brings with it more opportunities.”

Cheryl, who recently gave birth to her first child, will return to the University of Worcester in September, as she looks to further her promising career.

“I will be assisted on a scholarship at the University from September,” she explains. “The tutors will support and direct me to work as an artist in the Worcestershire area. I would like to develop a brand and a commercial project, perhaps influenced by the new member of my family.

“During my undergraduate degree, the University of Worcester gave me an understanding of illustration and its different genres, so I was then able to confidently develop my style and know where my niche was within the industry.

My course benefited me and it pushed me to create my best work. As well as having a passion for illustration, I now have the knowledge of how to get published as an illustrator.”

The recognition from New Art West Midlands is the latest in a growing line of achievements for Cheryl - whose work was Highly Commended at the 2012 Cheltenham Illustration Awards – who has also seen her work exhibited at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum.

She says her work is instigated by ‘imbalances, inequalities and oppressive themes in contemporary society’ with the adult subject matter adding ‘gravity and darker innuendos to seemingly delicate imagery’.

New Art West Midlands 2014 is a Turning Point West Midlands initiative, and will showcase the work of 24 artists, all of whom have graduated from Midlands universities in the past three years. Last year’s inaugural showcase attracted over 50,000 visitors.

For more information on the initiative, visit