Ron Dearing UTC welcomes public to first exhibition in new gallery space

The first public art exhibition is now open at a new dedicated centre for creativity in Hull city centre.

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) officially opened STEAM Studios in the former Hull Centre Fire Station, next door to its existing site in Kingston Square, on Friday.

It will help pave the way for students to embrace exciting careers in the creative sector while educating engineering students about opportunities in renewable energy.

Now, members of the public are invited to the first exhibition in the STEAM Studios gallery space, showcasing work and techniques by watercolour and mixed media landscape painting artist Kane Cunningham over the past 20 years.

The exhibition, entitled Retrospective, includes watercolours. etchings, drawings and pastel work  of local landscapes, such as Spurn Point, as well as pieces exploring ideas inspired by other artists.

The exhibition is free to the public and open from Monday to Thursday each week, 4.30pm to 6.30pm, throughout October. Entry is ticket only.

The first public art exhibition is open at STEAM Studios.


Jacob Wardle, Exhibition Curator at STEAM Studios, said: “We’re really excited to welcome members of the public to our first STEAM Studios exhibition and showcase Kane’s fantastic artwork in our brilliant creative space.

“Visitors can expect to see a selection of landscape paintings and a wide variety of mediums in an extremely varied exhibition.

“It’s a privilege to showcase the work of such a talented local artist in our first public exhibition and show our students what they can aspire to.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the community to the STEAM Studios gallery to see many more exhibitions of local artists’ work in the future, as well as to exhibitions of work produced by our own students.

Scarbrough-based Kane retired from teaching painting in 2017 to become a full-time artist, working in watercolour in the field and developing his ideas from the studio into prints, drawings and sculptures.

He is best known for the House Project, an art installation and environmental project at Knipe Point in Cayton Bay, Scarborough, where he bought a bungalow destined to fall into the sea due to coastal erosion for £3,000. He used it to create a work of art and multimedia installation and it was featured on television and radio across the globe.

Kane Cunningham in the first exhibition in STEAM Studios.


Kane is also co-director of Big Ideas by the Sea, an environmental festival in Scarborough which explores topics related to climate change, social issues, history and the natural environment.

Kane, who has worked to inspire Ron Dearing UTC creative students for the past two years through various projects, said: “I’m honoured and delighted to be the first artist to have an exhibition in the new STEAM Studios Gallery. I’ve chosen lots of my work from the past 20 years in which I’ve tried lots of different approaches and techniques.

“As an artist, there are many ways of working or expressing ideas and you have to experiment and take risks. I hope the students and members of the public will be inspired by my work.

“STEAM Studios is fantastic for Hull. Ron Dearing UTC is growing, emerging and developing, cementing its place in the city as a great place for education and creativity.

“The UTC team have enthusiasm and commitment for making it a wonderful, inspiring place with great plans for the future and it will be a force to be reckoned with over the coming years.”

The former Hull Central Fire Station has been renovated and repurposed to create the cutting-edge STEAM Studios including a gallery and exhibition space, digital and photography studios, 2D and 3D studios, and an additional sixth form independent study centre.

Invited guests enjoying a private viewing.


It is part of wider expansion at the school, which included remodelling parts of the existing UTC building to create research and development science laboratories and independent study spaces.

The expansion has enabled Ron Dearing UTC to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund, in response to huge demand for places.

World leading renewable energy company Ørsted, which develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe, is a Major Partner of the UTC and has made a substantial financial contribution towards the school’s expansion.

The funding, complimented by additional funds from other Founding and Major UTC Partners, has also ensured the STEAM Studios building is as energy efficient as possible.

Hull City Council gave the go-ahead for the school’s expansion plans last year and SPACE architects, working with contractors Sewell Construction, completed the project in August this year. Hull Esteem Consortium LEP Ltd acted as project managers on the scheme.

  • To book tickets for Kane Cunningham’s free Retrospective exhibition, visit
  • The entrance to STEAM Studios is on Worship Street, opposite the Old English Gentlemen pub and Hull History Centre. Visitors are asked to use the buzzer if the doors are closed and a member of the reception team will arrange sign in.