Celebrity fashion designer Wayne Hemingway made a guest appearance to launch the Blackburn University Centre Annual Art and Design Degree Show 2022 on Friday.

The Blackburn-born designer, who was the co-founder of Red or Dead, came along to the opening of the show which showcases work from undergraduates as part of their final projects.

The show, which is being run until 17th June at Blackburn College’s Victoria Building as part of The National Festival of Making, features exciting new creative work from graduates in Illustration and Animation, Fashion and Textiles, Graphic Communication, Fine Art, Photography and Game Arts.

Wayne Hemingway spoke about the fantastic opportunities that are available to creative arts students studying at Blackburn College and Blackburn University Centre, as well as the resilience of students who persevered through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The exhibition features a range of creative talent and is set to be visited by more than 1,000 people including leading employers from the cultural and creative industries and students’ families and friends.

Businesses that attended the launch event included: Creative Lancashire, Deco Publique, Source Creative, Haworth Art Gallery, Super Slow way, Gawthorpe Hall, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Hemingway Design.

In addition to the Art and Design Degree Show, the College’s Scholars Restaurant played host to a fashion show On Saturday which featured creative designs from Fashion and Textiles students.

Wayne Hemingway said:

“The Art show is one of the highlights of the year in Blackburn and we are delighted that the exhibition will open the return of the National festival of Making after two years off due to Covid.

“The College is an important partner to the festival, and I am delighted that so many graduates are now working full time in the cultural sector. I’m excited to see the new talent that will be on show this year.”

Jenna Gardner, Head of School for Creative, Digital and Community at Blackburn University Centre said:

“We are incredibly proud of all our students’ achievements at Blackburn University Centre, and the end of year art show is a special celebration of the talents and abilities of our creative arts degree students. It is a wonderful expression of ideas, craft and skill, which will not disappoint visitors to the show.

“We hope that all our visitors enjoy viewing the work of our students, who I am particularly proud of, as the majority of their degree work was produced during lockdowns and unprecedented situations.”

Blackburn College Principal and Chief Executive Dr Fazal Dad said:

“We were delighted to welcome Wayne Hemingway MBE and our guests from across the creative arts industries to our first in person Art and Design Degree Show in three years.

“The Art and Design Degree show is the culmination of our students’ hard work for the past three years since they began their studies.

“Our students have had the opportunity to engage with a range of exciting projects during their degree, including working with Gawthorpe Hall on an internationally significant textiles collection, and with Super Slow Way to look at the environmental impact of dyes.

“We are very proud of our students’ efforts, and we are sure that they will have successful times ahead of them in their future careers. The achievement of these students is remarkable, especially in light of the unprecedented pandemic challenges they have had to navigate; they have shown true resilience and determination to achieve their qualification.”

For more member news, click here.