Sudbury school showcases student art alongside £2m Gainsborough painting

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Abbie Colgate, Laura Ablitt, Zeta Damm.
The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Abbie Colgate, Laura Ablitt, Zeta Damm.

A school celebrated receiving top recognition for its arts education with an end-of-year exhibition featuring a £2-million painting by Sudbury-born artist Thomas Gainsborough.

Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard hosted a series of displays including artworks, photography and textiles created by GCSE and A-level students, to commemorate being awarded the platinum level Artsmark by the Arts Council of England.

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Cameron Walter.

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Cameron Walter.

The exhibition included the ‘Wooded landscape with old peasant and donkeys outside a barn’ – loaned by Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury – which dates back to about 1755 and is valued at more than £2 million.

Ed Clark, head of art at Thomas Gainsborough School, said: “It was wonderful to end the school year with such a celebration of the arts.

“The Artsmark is such a wonderful recognition of all the work students and staff have done.

“To have an actual Gainsborough painting in the school was a phenomenal experience for everyone.

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Nell Belcher.

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Nell Belcher.

“To see it up close had such an impact on students and staff members and we must thank Gainsborough’s House for the loan.”The artworks were exhibited in four galleries over three floors, including the newly opened Molfrey French-Owen art gallery on the second floor.

Photography student Laura Ablitt, 18, from Long Melford, said: “It is really nice to see my work up on the walls and to see other people’s reactions and feedback as they walk past.”

Nell Belcher, 16, from Bures, added: “We were allowed to create whatever we wanted for the exhibition and I wanted to do something that would stand out. I am pleased with the final design.”

Art teacher Angela Bowman praised the quality of the work on display and credited students for their hard work during the school year.

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: art teacher Angela Bowman and student Nell Belcher.

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: art teacher Angela Bowman and student Nell Belcher.

“This is a wonderful way to showcase students’ work and for the community to share in their success,” she said.

“We are delighted with the standard of work. We set high expectations but they never fail to deliver.”

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Emily Gillbanks.

The Thomas Gainsborough School art exhibition. Pictured: Emily Gillbanks.