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Graduate Artist Wins Regional Award

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A University of Worcester graduate has been honoured with a special award through the West Midlands region’s largest showcase of emerging contemporary artists.

Katie Hodson was given an Opportunity Award to take a two-month residency at the Office for Art, Design and Technology in Coventry.

She was one of 10 artists in the New Art West Midlands 2017 exhibition to be recognised with prizes or career development opportunities.

Fine Art Practice graduate Katie’s installation Slab hung on a wall is currently at the mac birmingham arts complex as part of the exhibition.

Founded by Ryan Hughes, the Office for Art, Design and Technology works nomadically and collaboratively to probe the spaces between seemingly disparate fields.

The residency runs for around three months.

Receiving one of just six special Opportunity Awards, Katie, 22, said: “I am really grateful to have won the opportunity to undertake a residency and am excited to begin working with Ryan and other artists in Coventry.

“It is a chance to develop a new body of work after leaving University and I am excited to learn new sculpture techniques and ways of working.”

Mr Hughes selected Katie because he was impressed with the quality of her sculptural installations in the New Art West Midlands 2017 exhibition, and the work that she has been doing since graduating in 2016, setting up a new art studio space, called BLOK, at Worcester Arts Workshop.

This was set up alongside 2016 University of Worcester Fine Art graduate, Emily Malin, and offers opportunities to new and emerging artists in the city.

BLOK was supported through the Moving On Staying On scheme (MOSO), which supports graduates in the early stages of their careers and was funded last year by the University of Worcester and the Elmley Foundation.

Katie, of St John’s, Worcester, is among 31 artists in the New Art West Midlands exhibition selected from more than 180 entrants who have graduated from the region’s six art schools.

These are the University of Worcester, Hereford College of Arts, Birmingham City University, the University of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire University and Coventry University.

Their work is now on show at four venues in the region until May 14th.

The former Shrewsbury Sixth Form College pupil said: “I am inspired by the urban construct and the fabrication of the spaces we inhabit day to day. The work that is on display in New Art West Midlands is the culmination of my final year at the University of Worcester, exploring our desensitisation to our urban environment.

“Long term I am looking to potentially further my study, but the ambition is for BLOK to remain as a contemporary art presence in the city to encourage graduates to stay in Worcester.”