A NEW art exhibition aimed at young people and created by young people is due to be launched in Hexham next month.

Young Curator for Young Collectors exhibition is the joint-endeavour of Hexham-based 21-year-old Florrie McNamara and artist Enrique Azocar, which aims to capture the interest of the town’s young art enthusiasts, and help encourage them to start their art collection.

Headhunted specifically by Enrique, who owns the Wall North Contemporary Gallery in Hexham, Florrie’s passion for the arts made her the ideal candidate to co-curate the exhibition.

“I’m a long-time family friend of Enrique, and he’s always known I’ve had a interest in the arts, so this collaboration was his way of helping me gain some experience within the industry.

“I’ve grown up in a artistic family, so art has always played a huge role in my life.” She said.

Florrie graduated with a degree in English literature from Lancaster University, but has always viewed the literary and art world as closely interlinked.

“The same thing which I love about literature, I also love about art, and that’s the story. Whether it be conveyed on paper or on canvas, I enjoy both mediums.”

From her own experience, Florrie said she understood how hard it could be for young people to purchase professional art, with prices sometimes heading into the thousands just for one piece of work.

“It is simply not feasible for students or young employees on a basic wage, and therefore our aim with the exhibition has been to reduce the cost of the artwork, to make it more accessible to people my age looking to start or add to their collection. It also gives them the opportunity to visit an art gallery and see professional art in the flesh.

“Whilst we’re so lucky to have the wealth of artistic spaces in Hexham, as a rural town we’re still lacking in free art spaces aimed for a younger audience in comparison to cities such as London and Newcastle, so it felt important to plug that gap.”

In order to keep the art affordable, prices have been capped at the £380 mark and start at £180.

Enrique has been able to keep prices low because he chose not to take a cut of commission from the exhibiting artists, or charge them VAT, which goes against the standard conventions practised in most galleries.

A range of small sculptures, paintings and drawings will be exhibited by artists Christine Elton, Pauline Le Roy, Sian O’Keeffe, Richard Oliver, Rachel Sharp, Gilbert Ward and Enrique himself.

Over the last month, Florrie has been responsible for organising the exhibition and designing the art space itself, as having helped to generate publicity, under the guidance of Enrique.

“Young people are the future of the art industry,” Enrique said. “They are the next artists, curators and collectors.

“We need to nurture their interest now to ensure the art world, and especially the art world in Hexham, continues to thrive.”

This will be the first exhibition launched under the Wall North Contemporary, which is an extension of TheArtStudio, founded by Enrique.

“I want to put Tynedale on the map as a artistic capital, where other rural towns will look to us for inspiration,” he said. “I think hosting unusual exhibitions such as Young Curator for Young Collectors will help towards achieving that goal. This will be the first of many exciting projects.”

Young Curator for Young Collectors will run from Saturday, July 13 to Sunday, July 21 between 11.30am and 5pm at the Wall North Contemporary Gallery, Beaufront Business Park in Hexham.