19th January 2004




Two veteran Hull painters with a combined age of almost 150 are to graduate from Hull City Hall this week.


John Bettles, who will turn 80 in August, and Mike Newman, who will be 70 in March, have completed their MA in Art, Design and Critical Theory at the Hull School of Art and Design.


And they will become the only two students from the original group to graduate from the course when they attend the ceremony at 2.30pm on Friday 23rd January.


Both artists studied for a degree in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln, graduating with honours in the summer of 2001.


Mike Newman paints abstract works based on a figurative theme while John Bettles’ paintings are more figurative, depicting a nostalgic view of the maritime heritage of his home city of Hull.


But it doesn’t end with graduation - Mike now plans to jet off to the States to join the American art scene while John hopes to stage an exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull.


“I hope to travel to San Franciso, New York, Nevada and Colorado and feed from the energy of the vibrant American art scene, developing new ideas, new styles and new concepts along the way,” said Mike.


Both artists are glad they returned to education later in life and would recommend it to anyone of retirement age.


“I would say, forget about your age – just get among the young people and get stuck in. I met a tiny barrier because of my age when I first started but we soon overcame that and I made some great friends at the university,” said John.


The two staged an exhibition of their work at the Anlaby Road studios in September last year.


‘Exhibition 150’ displayed around 70 paintings of the artists’ work and marked the completion of their masters degree.

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For more information contact:

Lindsey Bird, Assistant Press Officer University of Lincoln Tel: 01522 886244 Email: lbird@lincoln.ac.uk Check for the latest university news at www.lincoln.ac.uk/news