Generation Art – Young Artists On Tour

Generation ART, a touring exhibition of young people’s art, that exhibited at Soft Touch Arts and New Walk Gallery from 15th January – 6th March 2016.

The aim of Generation ART is for children and young people to be involved in a high quality exhibition at all stages, as curators, artists, audiences and champions.

GenART strives to raise the aspirations of young people, schools and teachers, and build the on the confidence of children and young people across the UK in the promotion of their artwork. The exhibition began at the Turner Contemporary, Margate, and will later go on to Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight. The collaboration between all the partners in the exhibition will increase capacity in the sector.

At Soft Touch, the Generation ART exhibition invited a broader range of audiences to our venue and stood as our first national exhibition. The spaces at New Walk Gallery and the Soft Touch building hosted several workshops over the exhibition period. People were invited to take part in art activities and to display their works within the exhibition to help promote the idea of creating inspirational, new work.

Engagement programme

There was an engagement programme of workshops and events delivered by Soft Touch Arts and New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, across the two venues.  Both venues had a workshop space adjacent to the gallery space to enable facilitated and non-facilitated workshops and events.  Although the spaces  are different in dimensions and decorative finish we aimed to mirror each with the layout of the room (formation of tables, chairs, shelving etc.), using the same furniture and supporting storage, and identical free materials available for the participants to use.  The space at Soft Touch Arts was also used for groups other than the Generation Art audience.


This programme consisted of 2 strands of engagement, a public programme and a community programme. It was based around the concept of the production and outcome of artist facilitated and independent production of artwork by children.

The hosting of Generation ART in Leicester also tied into Open 27, the 2016 Leicester and East Midlands Art Exhibition. Open 27 is an annual open submission event which allows artists of all ages to showcase their artwork. This year a new age category had been introduced, 5 – 10 years. Creating a more varied exhibition for visitors to experience and to ultimately embrace the wonderful art work produced by this age group.  Any young person aged between 5 – 19 years old who lives, studies or works in the East Midlands could enter their artwork for free.  More details at





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