'She touched so many lives': Dad backs art event after daughter's suicide

'Art for Life' will be running to raise money for PAPYRUS and to remember Emily Owen

'Art for Life' will be running to raise money for PAPYRUS and to remember Emily Owen - Credit: Art Academy East

An art marathon is to be held in the city next month to raise funds and awareness about young suicides.

Art Academy East are running the event on January 25 2022, in memory of Emily Owen, raising funds on behalf of PAPYRUS and ‘3 Dads Walking’. 

The all-day, hands-on art event will be held at their bright Norwich studio space in support of PAPYRUS, the charity committed to the prevention of young suicide. 

From complete beginners to experienced creators, Art Academy East wants everyone to come along and ticket holders can even join in with the painting sessions at home virtually. 

Former Art Academy East student Emily was a talented artist who created a range of works with AAE including a stunning portrait of actor Sir Ian McKellen.  

Emily’s father, Tim Owen, from Shouldham in west Norfolk, recently completed an incredible 300-mile charity walk dubbed ‘3 Dads Walking’.  

The three fathers, who each lost their daughters to suicide, won hearts across the UK as well as generous donations from actors Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman and Manchester United legend Lou Macari. 

Emily Owens portrait of actor Sir Ian McKellen.  

Emily Owens portrait of actor Sir Ian McKellen. - Credit: Art Academy east

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Claire Frances Smith, Art Academy East director said: “We decided to call our event ‘Art for Life’ as it has double meaning for us: a creative, fun event that promotes a life-saving charity, and also underlines the importance of art in lifelong learning, wellbeing and society."  

Emily’s father, Tim added: “Emily’s suicide was totally devastating to family, friends and colleagues.  

“She had just no idea how many people's lives she touched and now continues to impact through events like this.” 

Ged Flynn, chief executive of PAPYRUS, said: “Art for Life is an amazing example of how we can all work together to raise greater awareness of the vital support which is available and help to engage with young people. 

“The support also helps PAPYRUS to engage with local communities and volunteers in suicide prevention projects and supports the training we deliver to individuals and groups. 

“Together we must continue giving hope to young people who are struggling with life.” 

Sessions will run throughout the day from 9.30am-8.30pm on Tuesday 25th January 2022 at the studio in Sprowston.  

Tickets can be booked via the AAE.