DMU art exhibition to support aspiring artists

By Barbara Uzoigwe

Aspiring artist and Arts Ambassador, Brendan Neiland, unveiled his newest exhibition ‘Surface Tensions’ last Friday (1st Feb) at The Gallery in De Montfort University (DMU), which aims to provide work for new graduates.


The launch was designed to help support the De Montfort University Art Network, which helps to highlight and solve one of the biggest issues in the art industry – the number of artists who are unable to transition successfully from students to being professional artists.

The Art Network aims to bring together current students, alumni, friends of the university and the local art community to help young artists gain easier access to financial, or technical resources that are required in order to stand out and be successful in the ever-changing art industry.

Mr Neiland, who is also the Ambassador for the Art Network, said: “If you’re going to succeed in art, you’ve got to have dedication and give your life to it.”

The Art Network will help promote De Montfort University’s aspiring artists across the Leicestershire area and the national art community, through running exhibitions for these artists so they may network with successful curators, buyers and other award winning artists currently working in the field.

The event also introduced the Aspiring Artist Fund which is due to become a vital part of the Art Network.

The fund will provide support to a selected number of recently graduated students, to support them in the purchase of materials to develop their portfolio and to help fund their future projects.

Mr Neiland has contributed more than just his time as Arts Ambassador to the programme, by putting two of his art pieces from the exhibition up for auction, with the proceeds going back into the Aspiring Art Fund as a donation.

His advice to all aspiring artists is to “Be honest, be dedicated, believe in yourself and put yourself in the right place at the right time.”

This will not be the only art exhibit hosted by DMU Art Network which is hoping to host more regular exhibitions around the country to display various artwork from aspiring artists and their completed portfolios.

If you are a current student interested in applying, or are interested in donating to the Aspiring Artist Fund; visit or email

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