Nurturing talent at The Big Creative Art Show

This year’s E17 Art Trail will feature over 100 of the borough’s rising creative stars, writes Artillery’s Penny Rutterford 

Victoria Spence, Director of Careers Research & Partnerships at BCE

Where would you find London’s largest creative arts college? Walthamstow, that’s where. 

With almost 1,000 students, Big Creative Education (BCE) is even bigger than the BRIT School. BCE’s mission is to ‘develop talent, transform lives and create careers’. 

Victoria Spence, Director of Careers Research & Partnerships at BCE, explains: “Students learn the skills they need to work in the creative sector – be it media, drama, dance, make-up, sports, fashion, music or art. 

“They learn the importance of resilience and relationships, and the nuts and bolts of how to carve out a career with as much exposure to industry as possible.” 

For this year’s E17 Art Trail, fine art students from BCE will be curating a group show, called The Big Creative Art Show. “We have nearly 100 contributors,” says Victoria. “From an extremely talented 10-year old to established commercial artists, covering painting, sculpture and graphic design… 

BCE students taking part in 2019’s E17 Art Trail

“We also have video pieces from our make-up students and a fashion exhibition. The work is beautiful with great narratives.” 

Curating this show forms part of the students’ compulsory work experience. With some mentoring from a curator at Tate, the students have chosen the artists they want to exhibit themselves. 

The exhibition will be opening in BCE’s new building: a bespoke creative arts space including specialist music, fashion, art and dance studios, a gym and a new 300-seat venue. 

Victoria adds: “It’s a community asset and BCE are partnered with William Morris Big Local to make sure everything we do is promoting Walthamstow life. 

“As a Walthamstow resident, I’m really passionate about the E17 Art Trail. I remember it starting, and it has become the beating heart of the borough’s culture! 

“I’m so pleased to be able to host a show bringing together the work of students, our staff who are also practising artists, and local residents. It’s a real privilege to make it happen for everyone.” 

The Big Creative Art Show will be on display throughout the E17 Art Trail in July