New artists take up residence at University gallery

Five creative graduates from Southampton Solent University have been given a blank canvas from which to launch their art careers, after winning a place on the University’s Graduate Artists in Residence Award.

Each year, final-year students studying at the University’s School of Art are invited to apply for the award, which culminates in an exhibition at the University’s gallery, Solent Showcase.

Funded and supported by Showcase, the award provides graduates with the time, money and space to make and exhibit new work over the summer.

Over the course of three months, each of the successful graduates will receive £500 to cover the cost of materials; free use of the University’s large studios; and support and mentoring from the gallery curators at Solent Showcase.

Curator Les Buckingham says: “The scheme teaches the successful applicants how to work with gallery staff and make the transition from student to professional.”

“It also encourages graduates from different creative backgrounds to work together to create a harmonious exhibition,” he continues.

Southampton student Greta Staron (22) is one of this year’s successful artists. Originally from Poland, she moved to the city seven years ago and went to City College before going on to study BA (Hons) Illustration at Solent.

Having just been awarded a first class honours degree, Greta is thrilled to be able to continue her development through the scheme. “It really took me until my final year to find my own style. I didn’t just suddenly want to stop and I knew that I needed more time to develop it,” she says.

Greta – who is working on a piece based on a poem by Steve Maraboli - continues: “My goal is to get work as an illustrator. This whole experience will mean that I can contribute to my portfolio,” she adds.

The other successful graduates on the scheme are: Rebecca Sharplin-Hughes, BA (Hons) Photography; Joseph Rose, BA (Hons) Photography; Alix De Courcy, BA (Hons) Illustration; and Emily Taylor BA (Hons) Fine Art.

“As well as exposing their work to the public, we’re also expecting representatives from other galleries and the wider art-scene to view their work,” says Les Buckingham.

If you would like to carve out a creative career there are still places available on our wide range of art courses. Visit for more information.


About Southampton Solent University

Southampton Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2013 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

About Solent Showcase

Solent Showcase's opening hours: Monday – Friday 11–6pm, Saturday 11–5pm. Admission free. For access, please use city centre car parks.

Solent Showcase Gallery is a public gallery located within Southampton Solent University and is a key factor in Southampton’s emergent Cultural Quarter: 


About Us

Home to around 11,000 students studying everything from HNDs to PhDs, Southampton Solent University is dedicated to enabling learners of all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders, while also promoting economic and social prosperity. Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent is a dynamic university with strong local links and a growing network of global connections – and a reputation for developing grounded, well-prepared graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Holder of the small business charter, home to one of the world’s leading maritime training academies and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in the 2013 and 2014 Which? University student polls, Solent applies passion and innovative practice to all its courses. Spanning business and law, the creative industries, engineering and technology, maritime, media, sport and tourism, those courses deliver a practical blend of career-focused tuition and real-world experience – giving our students the tools they need to shape their own success.

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