Two females at University of Cumbria Creative Community art exhibition with a newspaper. Headline 'It Takes a Community To Raise A Creative'

Cumbria's Creative Community: Artists celebrated at university degree show

The University of Cumbria is throwing open its doors this week and inviting visitors to enjoy the work of its final year arts students. 

The university’s Institute of Arts is welcoming visitors to its Creative Community 2023 undergraduate degree show.

It is a showcase exhibiting the work of this year’s 96 final year students from across a range of areas including Film & Television, Fine Art, Games Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, and Wildlife Media. 

Across the University of Cumbria’s Brampton Road campus in Carlisle, home to its Institute of Arts, studio spaces have been transformed into exhibition galleries that are free and open for visitors to tour. 

The annual event is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their talent, celebrate the culmination of their studies and connect with their audience. 

Dr Sarah Bonner, a principal lecturer at the University of Cumbria Institute of Arts, said: “We’re so pleased to share our students’ work publicly and celebrate their success as they progress. The annual Degree Show is both a celebration of students and their work, and a critical point in their professional careers. The exhibitors will be moving into new communities where they will be fully equipped to practice their specialism and have a real-world impact on those they work with and on those that experience their work.” 

Collaboration has been central to many of the creative processes for students, taking a community to raise a creative. This has been fully illustrated in the design and development of the 2023 Degree Show campaign. 

Creative Community 2023-2

Ten third year BA (Hons) Graphic Design students have come up with the concept of the creative community as a village made up of districts specialising in each of our creative disciplines.  

Jessica Gibson and Hannah Dady (main picture, above) have acted as Art Directors, overseeing the brand campaign for the show from design to production. 

Hannah said: “I've definitely developed my communication skills and confidence in myself - whether that be reaching out to professionals and working with them to create something or simply directing a group for the degree show.”  

The artistic community exhibiting is international in flavour with six Icelandic students spending the last year in Cumbria for the BA (Hons) Fine Art programme as part of a long-standing partnership the university’s Institute of Arts has with Myndlistaskolinn (The Reykjavik School of Visual Arts).     

 Heimir Sveinsson

Student Heimir Sveinsson (pictured, left)  is planning to stay a little longer in the UK at the end of his degree to take up a placement in Hexham Studio. Heimir arrived with a painting background and in his time at the Institute of Arts has discovered a deep interest in sculpture, one that he will make the most of during the residency.

Developing the theme of community, the students are supporting local youth homelessness charity Carlisle Key during the show. The students have designed Creative Community tote bags and posters for sale, the proceeds of which will go to Carlisle Key.  

Creative Community is free to attend and open to visitors. It runs until Friday 9 June, open 10am-4pm daily.  

The exhibition closes with an open day and family viewing on the campus on Saturday 10 June, 10am-2pm. A private view event for invited guests, family and friends has also been held. 

Those unable to attend Creative Community in person can enjoy the final year students’ work online - 

Those interested in studying at the University of Cumbria, including the Institute of Arts, can find out more about open day events at 

Notes to editors


CREDIT: University of Cumbria/Jonathan Becker

1/Main picture: L-R: University of Cumbria Institute of Arts Undergraduate Degree Show 2023 ‘Creative Community’ - BA (Hons) Graphic Design students Jessica Gibson and Hannah Dady, the shows Art Directors. 

2. Visitors view the Creative Community 2023 exhibition at the University of Cumbria Institute of Arts, Brampton Road campus, Carlisle

3. University of Cumbria Institute of Arts Undergraduate Degree Show 2023 ‘Creative Community’: Fine Art student Heimir Sveinsson, an Icelandic student who has secured a summer 2023 placement with the Hexham Studio.