UN hosts first School Arts Competition

Date 16.11.2015

The University of Northampton’s Fine Arts department has held its first School Arts Competition in a bid to find the region’s brightest young artistic talent.

Over 200 entries were received from participating schools in Northampton, Wellingborough, Corby, Kettering, Huntingdon and Milton Keynes for the three main categories; each with a first prize of £500, second prize of £250 and a third prize of £100.

An exhibition and Prize Ceremony was held at the University’s Avenue Gallery on Thursday 8 January. The winners for each category were:

Ocee Prize for Drawing:

First: Miranda May, Wellingborough School, for her pencil drawing ‘Nick’

Second: Kiri Channer, Bishop Stopford School, Kettering, for her etching ‘Grandad’s Last Words’

Third: Hannah Gonau, Sawtry Community College, Huntingdon, for her ‘Tree Drawing’

The Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Fine Art:

First: Alex Pattison, Northampton School for Boys, for his painting ‘Northampton Market’

Second: Caryssa Jason, Sawtry Community College, Huntingdon, for her painting ‘Contemplative Mass’

Third: Theo Walkley-Bartlett, Northampton School for Boys, for his painting ‘Constituent’

The School of The Arts’ Prize for Digital and New Media:

First: Joe Bidmead, Hazeley Academy, Milton Keynes, for his mixed-media ‘Self Portrait’

Second: Emma Johnson, Lodge Park Academy, Corby, for her digital print ‘Happiness’

Third: Zaneta Nestorowicz, Lodge Park Academy, Corby, for her digital print ‘Neon Liquid’

Alex Pattison was awarded the overall prize for the best work in the exhibition – his painting of Northampton Market – which earned him an engraved trophy, and one for his school, Northampton School for Boys, plus an additional £500, which was presented to the his art teacher Mr Jack Bradbury.

Selected work will be exhibited at the University’s Avenue Gallery from 12 to 21 January.

Suzanne Stenning, Gallery Administrator, commented: “This is the first time we have run a competition like this, and I think we’ve all been really impressed by the standard and variety of the work we received.  It was quite a challenge to hang the exhibition in just two days – many thanks to James Smith, Matt Taylor and Lisa Chappell for doing such a fantastic job. The opening event and prize-giving ceremony on Thursday was very well attended and it was great to meet so many of the teachers and students who took part, and see the winners receive their prizes.  We’re already looking forward to next year’s competition!”

Dr Ralph Darbyshire, Subject Leader for Fine Art at the University of Northampton, commented: “This inaugural schools art competition has been quite overwhelming both in terms of the amount of interest that has been generated, over 200 submissions, and the sheer quality and ambition of the work. The sophistication and dynamism of the work displayed demonstrates our extraordinary creative regional environment and reaffirms the University of Northampton’s role and responsibility in nurturing and developing it.”

Photo: Overall winner, Alex Pattison from Northampton School for Boys with his artwork
Photo credit: Richard Byles, University of Northampton