Shropshire Star

Primary school opens its own art gallery in tribute to former teacher

A Shropshire primary school has opened its own art gallery to allow pupils to showcase their work.

Pupils Mae Hilton, Arthur Taylor, Dolly Barber, Teddy Murray, Leica Waddington with Alan and Sally Townsend, and Tracy Othen from Coleham Primary School

Coleham Primary School in Shrewsbury invited representatives from local arts venues when it unveiled its new walk through gallery on Wednesday, which the school has named after a former teacher.

The school was refurbished during the holidays to create the gallery, which includes displays for clay pottery and sculpture work.

Teacher Lottie Heap, art leader at the school said: “It is really important that all children are able to see themselves as artists and so we wanted to create an inspirational space to showcase their work professionally.

"Every child can feel proud, even the smallest of sketches can shine in the right space”

Various exhibitions are planned for the coming year including Banksy-inspired work from Year 6 and exhibitions from staff and parents.

The school have named the the new facility the Townsend Art Gallery after former Coleham Teacher, Judy Townsend, who died in 2011 and who founded The Belle Vue Arts Festival.

Judy’s husband, Alan Townsend, was among guests at the opening of the gallery and cut the ribbon.

Headteacher Tom Larkham said: “The Townsend Art Gallery is the perfect name as Judy Townsend represented everything that is great about our school - care, creativity and community.

"She brought the arts to our local community with great passion and inspired so many children and their families. Everyone at Coleham, staff and pupils, look forward to getting involved with the festival each year.”

Pupils also played their part at the official opening, serving drinks and greeting guests from The Belle Vue

Business manager at the school Tracy Othen said: “Creating this gallery and watching the space transform has been a delight, our children regularly visit galleries but to have our own is very special. Art matters to us and the children and staff deserve to work and learn in an uplifting and creative environment.

"Thank you to all our friends from local art venues for their continued work with Coleham School and for helping us celebrate this occasion.”