A GROUP of creative graduates from Southampton Solent University have been given a blank canvas from which to launch their art careers after winning a place on the university’s Graduate Artists in Residence Award.

Each year final-year students studying at the university’s School of Art are invited to apply for the award, which culminates in an exhibition at the University’s gallery called Solent Showcase.

Over the course of three months each of the five successful graduates will receive £500 to cover the cost of materials, free use of the university’s large studios and support and mentoring from the gallery curators at Solent Showcase.

Curator Les Buckingham says: “The scheme teaches the successful applicants how to work with gallery staff and make the transition from student to professional.”

Southampton student Greta Staron, 22, said: “My goal is to get work as an illustrator. This whole experience will mean that I can contribute to my portfolio.”

The other successful graduates are Rebecca Sharplin-Hughes, Joseph Rose, Alix De Courcy and Emily Taylor.