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Step into the wonderful world of children’s art

Published 2 May 2022

As we get ready for the Young Artists’ Summer Show 2022, we’re taking a look back at just a few of the incredible artworks from last year’s exhibition.

  • Artist Molly, age 10, says: “My hamster Pancake became my best friend during lockdown. He was the only one I could play with when we couldn’t leave the house and see our friends. I wanted to make him something really special to play in, and given all the art galleries were closed (and being a hamster, he wasn’t allowed in them anyway), I thought I would create one especially for him, which I called The Guggenhamster.”

  • Artist Marcela, age 18, says: “This painting is to illustrate the value of joy when making art by highlighting it through the use of childlike creativity. My brother stands as a proud artist beside his emoji inspired self portrait, in a gallery setting… validating the idea that childlike creative freedom is important when creating art.”

  • ‘Dog’ was anonymously submitted to the Young Artists’ Summer Show 2021. The elusive artist wrote: “This is my painting of a dog.”

  • Artist Theo, age 10, says: “I have 6 ducks. This is Sturdy, the biggest male. Our ducks hatched at the beginning of the first lockdown, they have been great fun to have around.”

  • Artist William, age 19, says: “I adore film and TV, but where were my role models whilst growing up? I never saw myself represented so I have made myself the “hero” that I wanted to see on the big screen. I have studied the work of Cindy Sherman, Cold War Steve and Jo Spence (‘Putting Myself in the Picture’) to solidify my ideas about myself and how the world sees me.”

  • Artist Layla, age 18, says: “I embraced Hopper completely…It was his use of light and shade and the atmosphere…kind of drenched, saturated with mood, and its kind of austerity. It was the kind of work that just seemed made for me. I looked at it and it was mine.”

  • Artist Omotayo, age 18, says: “I was inspired by artists Kehinde Wiley and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and I wanted to implement the different ways in which they expressed their own cultural portrayals. I wanted to portray parts of my Nigerian heritage with the use of the traditional fabrics. I also created the collage in the style of Njideka Akunyili Crosby to show a timeline of my adventure through culture. The form and structure of this piece was as a result of studies of high renaissance art, and I used gold leaf to highlight the pattern in the dashiki (shirt) to put emphasis on the origins of the fabric.”

  • Artist Ellie, age 5, says: “I love Van Gogh, he is my favourite artist. He is sad in all his self-portraits so I made him happy and jumping with joy. His colourful paintings make me happy, I think that would make him happy too.”

  • Artist Dan, age 18, says: “I don’t have a particular problem with egg & cress sandwiches. However, I noticed if one of my friends ever bought one from the shop, some people would be repulsed and refuse to associate with them until the sandwich had been completely eaten.”

  • Artist Rupert, age 11, says: “This artwork depicts my mum swimming in the freezing water! I think she’s crazy.“

    • Young Artists' Summer Show 2020 installation shot

      Young Artists’ Summer Show 2022

      19 July - 14 August

      Now in its fourth year, the Young Artists’ Summer Show is a free, open submission exhibition for students aged 4 - 19 studying in the UK. Artworks are judged by a panel of passionate artists and arts professionals, with selected artworks displayed online and on-site at the Royal Academy of Arts.

      From 19 July, you can view the 2022 online exhibition, and come to London to see the artworks selected for display at the Royal Academy from 19 July - 14 August.