Exhibition set to mark Chenderit’s big 4-0

Former Chenderit School teacher John Childs
Former Chenderit School teacher John Childs

Next month Middleton Cheney’s Chenderit School will celebrate its 40th anniversary by mounting a special exhibition of the art of its former students.

The exhibition, Forty Years On: A Celebration of Chenderit Art and Design Alumni 1979-2019, commemorates not only the school’s 40th anniversary, but features the work of former students who have gone on to build careers as artists, architects and illustrators, in advertising, marketing communications and commercial design, and as fashion, jewellery and furniture designers.

The exhibition opens on Monday, September 9 in the school’s Heseltine Gallery and is expected to include works by jewellery designer Lucy Sylvester and painter Nathan MacDougall amongst around 75 past students. It has been organised by the Friends of the Heseltine Gallery.

John Childs, former head of art and design at Chenderit, has curated the show.

John said: “Forty years of memorable students who went on with their art studies seemed an opportunity for one last show.

“I have had a good go at contacting a wide range of former pupils, creating an exciting show.”

Childs, who started at Chenderit with the purpose of creating an outstanding department, based on the belief that an arts education was an essential lement of every child’s education and that every child could achieve a GCSE pass.

His own training was as a painter, a ceramicist and textile printmaker.

Following 37 years at the school, his career has seen him become GCSE assistant chief examiner and president of The National Society for Education in Art and Design.

The exhibition will be open from Monday, September 9 until Friday, October 18 during school hours as well as dedicated weekend openings, which will include some special events organised by the Friends of the Heseltine Gallery:

A private view for the featured artists and the Friends of the Gallery, to be opened by Banbury MP Victoria Prentis on Saturday, September 7.

Forty Years of Chenderit School: A Celebration of Memories, will take place on Saturday September 14 between noon and 3pm, especially for alumni and the local community.

The event will encourage former students to share their memories of Chenderit School with staff and current students.

Finally visitors will get the chance to hear John Childs talk about his long career at Chenderit in a ‘Meet the Curator’ event on Sunday, October 6 at 2pm.

The Heseltine Gallery is supported by South Northamptonshire Council and weekend openings for the exhibition are sponsored by Town and Country Plumbing and Heating Ltd and by CJ Charles and Sons Ltd.

For more information visit www.chenderit.northants.sch.uk/michael-heseltine-gallery.asp