June 6, 2018 Cowes, UKSA, the youth charity that uses the power of the sea to transform the lives of thousands of young people each year, held a Secret Art Show this past weekend with artwork contributed by ‘Sherlock Holmes’ actor Benedict Cumberbatch CBE and celebrated marine artists Martyn Mackrill and Steven Dews. The piece by Martyn Mackrill was a special commission and raised £6,000 alone. Over 250 guests attended the event at the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Pavillion, which was transformed into a gallery showcasing donated work for sale and auction. This was the first time UKSA has hosted a Secret Art Show. With a set target of £20,000 to be raised on the night, this was smashed with over £30,000 being raised overall.
124 postcard-sized works of art were generously donated by artists mainly from the Isle of Wight and Solent area. Guests only discovered the identity of the artist once they had purchased their favourite piece. UKSA CEO Ben Willows said: “This event has been put together by a tremendous group of volunteers led by Susannah Seely. I’m particularly grateful for the continued support of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the event sponsors, Ocean Leisure, Artisan Bakery and Spence Willard. Above all I’d like to thank the artists for their donated works, without which this event wouldn’t have been possible”. The funds raised, which were well over what the charity expected, will go towards UKSA’s capital investment programme which will give them the ability to train more professional clients, youth groups and young apprentices at UKSA. This will be achieved by building more flexible accommodation and facilities for the thousands of young people that come through UKSA’s doors each year. For more information on the UKSA capital investment programme, please visit: https://uksa.org/capitalcampaign