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Celebrating local artistic talent with the Young Artist of the Year competition

Young Artist of the Yeay 2024 competition entrants
Celebrating Young Artist of the Year 2024.

Warrington & Vale Royal College proudly announces yet another year of overwhelming success for its renowned Young Artist of the Year competition. Demonstrating an unprecedented level of enthusiasm, this year's event received an astonishing number of submissions, marking a milestone in its history.

With over 40 entries pouring in from 10 high schools across Warrington and Cheshire, the college marvelled at the exceptional quality of artwork and the undeniable talent showcased by its participants at the Young Artist of the Year exhibition this week. Open to both year 10 and 11 pupils, the competition sought to crown two distinguished winners: the Young Digital Artist of the Year and the Young Creative Artist of the Year.

The prizes included a cutting-edge Wacom Intuos Creative Pen Tablet and an artist's essentials kit generously sponsored by Abacus Resources. Entries were in a diverse range of mediums, from portraits and intricate architectural designs to breathtaking scenic canvases and captivating digital photography, all of which highlighted the entrants' passion and artistic prowess.

The judges, comprising the college's Director of Quality & Curriculum, Ben Brady, and Subject Leader of Graphic Design, Ellie Strowger, faced the arduous task of selecting this year's winners amidst the pool of exceptional submissions. They eventually came to their decision, naming Lauren Weedall from Weaverham High School and Marlies Woo from Sir Thomas Boteler C of E High School as this year's winners.

Creative Artist of the Year Lauren Weedall and her artwork

Lauren's piece was chosen for the impressive attention to detail she demonstrated and the way she was able to capture a genuine sense of emotion. The creative category winner said, "I drew two old indigenous ladies laughing together for my work and I used pencil as my main medium. I love how it shows that the love and friendship that life brings us is entirely ageless, as these two women are still enjoying their time together, with such clear humour and fun."

Marlies entered the digital category and saw her work come up against some stiff competition, but it was their highly creative and colourful composition that caught the eye of the judges. Marlies said, "For this piece I was really inspired by Japanese illustrators such as Naoki Saito, and various pins on Pinterest. I wanted to create a scene where my original character is trapped inside a space, and I experimented a lot with lighting and colours. By using a 'painterly' rendering style, I can easily add colours of different hues without it looking out of place and I think it makes the piece look more vivid and fun!"

Digital Artist of the Year Marlies Woo and her artwork

The competition was marked by a vibrant exhibition and awards presentation attended by a record-breaking 110 esteemed guests, including entrants, their families and friends, and teachers from local high schools such as Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, Golborne High School, Lowton C of E High School, Sir Thomas Boteler C of E High School, and Sandymoor Ormiston Academy.

After the exhibition, guests had the opportunity to explore the college's state-of-the-art Advanced Creative & Digital Skills Academy, which was launched recently following a £2 million investment from the Department of Education. Serving as one of four centres of technical excellence housed at Warrington campus, the academy equips students with the in-demand skills needed to embark on successful careers in the creative and digital industries.

Expressing gratitude at the overwhelming response to the competition, Ben Brady praised the remarkable efforts of all participants, stating: "The exceptional standard of this year’s entries has left me speechless. The talent on display has been truly extraordinary and its incredibly inspiring to see the next generation of artists proudly showcasing their work. From what we have seen tonight, I have no doubt that they will have incredible success in their future and hope to welcome them to the college soon."

The college extends heartfelt appreciation and congratulations to all entrants for their outstanding contributions to this year's competition and eagerly anticipates witnessing the continued growth and success of these exceptional artists in the near future.

Feeling inspired? Click here to view our Art & Design, Fashion & Creative Crafts courses.