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18 June 2008 PR 08/83

Artist inspires local children to pick up their brushes

Loughborough University artist Ben Cohen, who this year became the first-ever Loughborough student to have his work displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in London, visited a local school recently to help inspire the next generation of budding artists.

Ben, who is a second year Fine Art student, spent the day talking to children in years four and six at Sutton Bonington Primary School, near Loughborough. He also took along one of his sketchbooks and photographs of some of his paintings, including that of Loughborough bookseller John Gallon, which is now on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

Class 6 teacher Miss Leeson said the children were delighted to meet and talk to Ben. “The children asked him about the way he works and the materials he uses,” she explained. “They’re looking forward even more now to seeing the real portrait of ‘John’ when they visit the National Portrait Gallery on their trip to London in July!”

Ben’s oil on canvas painting was entered into the gallery’s BP Portrait Award, an annual competition aimed at encouraging artists to focus upon and develop the theme of portraiture in their work. The portrait was selected to form part of the competition exhibition, which runs until 14 September.

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Notes to editors:

  1. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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