Hundreds of young people from across the Borough have taken part in this year’s Youth Open Art competition, with the winners awarded at a presentation held at the World of Glass.
The annual competition is open to anyone aged 16 or under, who lives or studies in St Helens. There are categories available for nursery-aged children right through to Year 11, as well as specific awards available for those who choose digital and graphic design pieces.
The competition welcomes art across all mediums including drawing, glass, textiles, sculpture, painting, printmaking, mixed media, photography and digital media.
Judges from St Helens Council and the World of Glass had high praise for the quality and creativity of the 500+ submissions across 41 local education providers in this seventh year of the competition.
Winners received glass awards hand-made at The World of Glass, where a public exhibition of 228 selected submissions will feature until 10th May.
Winning entries from receptions, nurseries and primary schools included Charlie Atkinson, from St Austin’s Primary, for his wonderfully crafted Bee House; Cara McConaghy (Key Stage 1) from Parish Primary for her wonderfully colourful interpretation of Picasso’s portrait technique; and Jack White (Key Stage 2) for his striking war plane composition with a great narrative.
Sheena Smith, Assistant Head teacher at St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High School presented the Audience Choice award to James Atkinson from Bleak Hill Primary, for his cave painting interpretation.
There were also many high quality entries from local secondary schools.
The winner of the Key Stage 3 category was Arianne Wilkinson from De La Salle School for her piece ‘Cogs and Fire’, which showed good imagination, attention to detail and use of colour.
Rheanon Lee Shaw from St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High came out on top in the Key Stage 4 category, with her highly original and anatomically accurate, yet disturbing burnt head sculpture ‘Crispy Darren’.
Local company Vinyline sponsored the Photography, Graphic Art and Digital Media category, which welcomed work produced by secondary school students. Leah Maudsley from St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High achieved first place for her vibrant, well executed and creative snake design, and won a work placement offer with Vinyline.
Project lead, Evonne Bixter, Development Officer for Cultured, St Helens’ Cultural Education Partnership, said “This year we received a record number of entries from students attending 41 local education providers. Once again, the standard of submissions was very high and, were it not for space limitations, we would have happily exhibited all entries.
“As well as amazing 2-dimensional work, such as paintings, drawings and collages and digital artwork, we also received some fantastic 3-dimensional work in the form of ceramics, sculptures and models. As you’ll see in the exhibition, the variety of work on display shows the broad skill base of our young artists.
“Although some entries come directly from the students, we also receive a large number of submissions from schools. It’s fantastic to see that we have so many teachers who really champion creativity and inspire their students by introducing them to new techniques, technologies and materials. Thank you, and well done to everyone who took part!”
Look out for more information on the upcoming St Helens Open Art Competition, for those aged 16 or over, at www.sthelens.gov.uk/openart or call The World of Glass on 01744 22766.