Sara Downham-Lotto – Spring 2020 –

Young Artists – Sharing the Light is an Arts Lab Covid-19 response project that has grown organically out of evolving need in these particularly challenging times for young artists and their communities:

  • Providing opportunities for 18-28 year old creatives to maintain connection, wellbeing and professional aspiration through their own art practice.
  • Supporting young artists pursuing careers in the arts to develop their practice in ways that maximise their professional calibre alongside working with and transforming communities.
  • Encouraging young artists, through creativity, to take the lead in inspiring and motivating others to stay connected and positive in difficult times.

‘The projects have given me such an amazing outlet to express my unique creative skills as well as helping me to develop and grow as an individual. I have achieved a more refined skill set, bettered my people skills and gained a wonderful arts family.’ RH

Young Artists – Sharing the Light began in April 2020, through a range of smaller projects as a mainstay for young people navigating lockdown and a post-Covid world of uncertainty:

  • Lockdown Call and Response  (April-July ’20) weekly themes prompting creative making, conversation and sharing on social media.
  • Summer Splash! (Aug.’20) research project around CHANGE.
  • Keeping it Real (Sept-Dec’20) using our practice to raise awareness and affect positive change with a real life issue we are passionate about.

Consistent throughout, has been the use of virtual platforms to communicate and share work. Since our launch, over 220 new artworks have been created and shared on our social media platforms, directly engaging 50 young creatives in hands-on making and over 600 viewers. (See our Instagram Y/A Sharing the Light takeover between April 27th and Sept 3rd 2020).

Building on our existing mentoring scheme, student artists and Arts Lab artist associates work together. Shared learning has produced exciting outcomes. Each week, facilitated by a rota of 2-3 mentors, the young people meet digitally to share ideas, reflect and plan.

‘Working with Arts Lab has opened me to working on projects within a group, gaining a sense of community that I’ve not done before.’ MO


Artist, Community, Learning, Mental Health, Young people


Covid-19 response