THREE talented students are to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin after securing places at their former university.
The young artists, who have just completed three years at South Tyneside College, have been accepted at the prestigious Goldsmiths University in London where they hope to develop their creative skills.
Helen Smith, 19, Sophie Peacock, 19, both from South Shields and Jill McKnight, 19, from Sunderland, will all be moving to the capital later this month.
The students all studied their A-levels at college, then stayed on to complete the foundation diploma in art and design and are now ready for their next challenge.
They all aspire to be practising artists with their own studios when they graduate.
Jill said: “I would love to have my own studio one day, to be able to work and support myself financially through art. I couldn’t think of a better career. To get paid for something I have always loved doing would be fantastic.
“I am so happy that I have been accepted at Goldsmiths University of London; it has a fantastic reputation and is one of the leading universities to study art.
“I have loved my time at South Tyneside College, I have made some great friends and two of them are going to the same university as me.”
Nick Banks, lecturer in art and design at the college, has seen these learners go from strength to strength in their abilities.
He said: “These girls have worked extremely hard and to get into such a prestigious university is a real achievement.
“It’s great that they are all friends and going down to London together and they have all managed to get into the same accommodation block.
“I have no doubt that these girls will achieve everything they want in life. They are very determined and now they have the right qualifications to get them a step further to their dream careers.”
Lindsey Whiterod, principal and chief executive at the college, is extremely proud of all of the learners’ achievements this year.
She added: “There have been so many success stories this year. As well as these girls we have had learners accepted into top universities locally and nationally including Cambridge, Edinburgh and Northumbria.
“It’s extremely rewarding to see how much our learners have progressed since they joined the college with some going from C to A grades within two years.”