Talented youngsters honoured for artistic efforts

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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 recent World of Glass presentation.

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 557 submissions this year. Winners received glass awards hand-made at the World of Glass, where a public exhibition of 244 selected submissions will feature until Friday 4 May.

Aidan Millea from St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School came first in the Nursery and Reception category for his amazing and expressive use of materials in his piece Alien Friends, while Robyn Griffiths from Willow Tree Primary earned the top prize in the Key Stage 1 category for her wonderful use of a dazzling array of colours in her work As Proud as a Peacock.

First place in the Key Stage 2 category went to Nevindie Fernando from St Ann’s Rainhill for the beautiful piece Care and Love, which demonstrates a good handling of materials and an excellent composition.

St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School contributed two winning pieces, with Key Stage 3 pupil Ben Beswick praised for his exceptional observational skills and use of tone and shade, and Key Stage 4 pupil Lucy Rickards, who captured the essence of World War II era inspirational posters with a very mature and accomplished use of materials.

The winning piece in the Vinyline sponsored category for photography, graphic art and digital media came from De La Salle student Grace Fordham-Bibby for her piece Drifting, a brilliant composition with lots of carefully thought out details. Grace’s glass award comes with an additional prize of a work placement at the innovative local graphics and signage company.

This year’s Youth Open Art Competition helped to celebrate the borough’s 150th anniversary by offering entrants the chance to win a one-off special award, under the theme “Out of the Earth Came Light.” The award went to Louise Tickle from De La Salle School, whose composition was thought to encapsulate the borough’s landmarks, heritage and ethos.

Visitors to the World of Glass exhibition in the opening week were able to vote for their favourite, with the top-rated piece winning the Audience Choice award. Lily Edmond won the award for her piece Save or Sorry.

Residents can still view the collection of entries at the World of Glass until Friday, May 4.

For more information on the upcoming St Helens Open Art Competition, for those aged 16 or over, head to www.sthelens.gov.uk/openart or call The World of Glass on 01744 22766.