Cultivate artists – where are they now?

We caught up with last year’s Cultivate artists to discuss where they are now and their experience of the competition.

Cultivate 2022 Artists

Lola Whiskey

Artist Lola Whiskey stands in front of her large, colourful piece of artwork titled 'Mother Giant'“Being a part of Cultivate helped my confidence massively! It gave me confidence that other people enjoyed my artwork and wanted to give me an opportunity to openly create more! It helped push me out of my comfort zone with the chance to build something I’d never even think was possible! A giant!!!!

Having a goal or a project to work towards really helped with my mental well-being! It was a fantastic escape to let my creativity loose and have the freedom for someone to go “all those things you’ve always wanted to create but might have not had the excuse to build them” There you go! Do whatever you want!”. Also working with a small team of creative people who are all on the same page was a real special thing to be a part of!

Cultivate did in fact help me a lot on my artistic journey! Since Cultivate, I’ve come across lots of opportunities to create commissions for people who enjoyed the exhibition! So it’s helped me get work.

Like I said before, in my opinion, Cultivate is very important to creative minds and their struggles because it gives them the platform and the excuse to do what they enjoy most!!! It’s a celebration of who they are and what they can accomplish when given complete creative freedom; if that’s creating something huge and outside of their comfort zone, being able to rent out a studio or even buying expensive materials, that they’ve always wanted to try out! It gives us the excuse to expand a once in a life time opportunity!

I’m very grateful to have been a part of Cultivate! It was probably the happiest I’ve been since college! The people were fantastic and to be a part of a group of artistic individuals, finding out how they think and what makes them tick was really eye opening. I’d 100% recommend this opportunity to anyone of any age who is able to take part in cultivate!

Since completing the project I have moved to Plymouth to start studying at The Art College there. Since completing my college course I lost a lot of confidence as I am from low earning family who receive benefits. Life can be very difficult as we often struggle to be offered opportunities. However, since completing Cultivate it has renewed my ambitions to better myself and gain further qualifications to gain a good job that will help support my mum and younger sister. Thank you for the opportunity as it has changed my life.”


Beth Gibson

Artist Beth Gibson stands next to her artwork. It is a framed illustration of red buildings“The Cultivate project helped so much, I managed to sell a lot of artworks and get more people to know about my work and appreciate it. The Cultivate exhibition boosted my confidence in myself as well as in my art and I got to see what people like about my art and how they view it. It gave me motivation to create more art and expand my skills further.

When I did my university interview, they were really interested that I was doing this project and it helped me do so well in my course. Thanks to The Cultivate Project I was offered a place at Goldsmiths studying art. I am currently studying there now and whenever I shared stories with my fellow students about The Cultivate project they are always really jealous that an opportunity such as this exists in Herefordshire but not anywhere else in the country.

Cultivate really is important for creative people that can’t get their work out there, or maybe don’t have confidence in how good their work is. It gives them the chance to show their art and not have to worry about the financial issues of doing exhibitions or getting work into galleries. I hope this project continues on for other young people to create more beautiful art and feel confident in their abilities.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, it has meant so much to me, as I come from a poor background and would never have managed to gain the skills and development needed to get to University without this project.”


Charlie Gundy

Artist Charles Gundy standing in front of his artwork, in large frames hanging on a wall

“The Cultivate project encouraged my first steps into the Contemporary Art scene. I was mentored closely by an inspiring professional, who helped me focus on my own style of art. Having opportunity’s like Cultivate are crucial for the health and well-being of Herefordshire’s young community. I have greatly benefitted from this opportunity as an individual. I have often struggled in more academic settings but this project had the perfect mix of hands on learning and support from a mentor. It has really helped develop my craft and I am now furthering my studies in Illustration and Contemporary Art Practice at Degree level. I would never have thought it possible to get to University but thanks to The Cultivate Project I am now able to follow my desired career path.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the cultivate exhibition, and exhibit alongside the amazing artworks of emerging artists. Cultivate has given me great confidence in my individual style. Having the opportunity to be part of cultivate has put me on the right path to achieving my goals.”


Cultivate 2023/24

Cultivate is our annual visual arts project for local, young artists aged between 16-25.

The chosen artists will be shortlisted by a panel of judges and will then be mentored by professional artist Dermot Clarke. They will work towards producing an exhibition at The Courtyard and The Old Mayors Parlour Gallery in the Summer of 2023 with an opportunity to receive a £1000 grant. The selected artists can also receive up to £1000 for project materials.

Artists wishing to be considered for this project were invited to submit a technically accomplished and resolved piece of artwork or craft for assessment, along with supporting evidence of exploration and experimentation, in the form of a sketchbook or drawings. The themes for submissions are: ‘Speak’, ‘Motion’, ‘Connect’, ‘Renewal’ and ‘Optical’.

The artists for Cultivate 2023/24 have now been chosen and will be announced soon…