A showcase of the artwork of a Lithuanian student who died on the outskirts of Preston in March is to be held.Advertisement
Milda Okunyte was studying art at the University of Central Lancashire before her death aged 20 in a road traffic accident.
Friends of Milda have decided to run a month-long exhibition called Mad Mill at the Big Mill.
Steve Wilkin, lecturer in illustration at UCLan, said: “From the moment staff at UCLan saw her portfolio we knew Milda was a talent. Once we had met her we knew we had found an intriguing artist; always open to conversation about her work, always enthused by possibilities suggested to her by staff and peers. She was in some ways a complete creative, interested in music, poetry, film, performance, drawing, painting and digital art equally.”
The Big Mill is a new art gallery in Preston, located in Primrose Hill, just off London Road.
Mike Green, curator at the Big Mill, said: “This will be the first ever exhibition at Big Mill as we have just opened after so many months of getting the space ready. The fact that it is the work of Milda that will start our monthly exhibition program off is meaningful in a number of ways as Big Mill is about creativity having more of a platform in Preston. Unfortunately I never knew Milda but from talking to her friends and seeing her work it is clear that she was much loved and had passion for her art and creativity. It is right and fitting that this exhibition has come together so that Milda and her creative footprint will leave it`s mark in Preston and at Big Mill as its first exhibition.”
Mystery still surrounds Milda’s death. She was found lying in Preston New Road around 10.50pm on Tuesday 24 March.
She was taken to Royal Preston Hospital but later died of her injuries. An inquest is due to take place at Blackpool in August to establish the cause of her death.
Ian Ferguson, who met Milda when she first arrived in Preston from Kaunas in Lithuania last Autumna, said: “Her imagination, her sense of humour, her love of life and her willingness to see not only the best that was, but that could be, in everyone around her, ensured that, in six short months, she changed many lives forever. Tragically, Milda is no longer with us, but her legacy, her art, lives on.”
The exhibition runs from Wednesday 17 June to Friday 17 July. The gallery is open until 5pm on Monday to Friday and until 3pm on Saturdays. More information can be found on the Creative Lancashire website.