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Stockport Academy Art Students Take Home Top Prize In National Competition

Chris Prince / Categories: News

Stockport Academy Art Students Take Home Top Prize In National Competition

Two of our Year 11 Art students have been crowned winner and runner-up of United Learning’s national Art Competition.

Two of our Year 11 Art students have been crowned winner and runner-up of United Learning’s national Art Competition.

The annual competition, which is open to secondary school students from United Learning academies and independent schools across the country, encourages young artists to showcase their artistic talents by creating an original piece of artwork. The top four students now hope to see their work exhibited at the acclaimed International High School Arts Festival in Tokyo, with the winner also receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Japan to see their artwork on display in person.

This year saw 54 entries to the competition which were put before three different audiences– social media, the Group’s art teachers, and professional artist and illustrator Emma Reynolds – who had the challenging task of voting for their favourite pieces. Based on the votes they received from each audience, the students’ creations were then ranked and given a final score out of 30. The student with the highest overall score was crowned the winner.

Billie, who scored an impressive 23 points, took home the top prize for her drawing ‘AL’. Her creation was inspired by a meeting with Al, a man experiencing homelessness in her local community. Through her drawing, Billie wanted to capture his positivity and cheerfulness and show that, regardless of the different situations people may find themselves in, everyone is the same at heart. 

Closely following in second place was Farah, who scored 21 points for her piece ‘Pride in my Hijab’. With her drawing, Farah wanted to capture the power and strength of her inspiration, Dalia Mogahed, and showcase the significance of the hijab.

Speaking about her piece, winner Billie said: “Al’s smile conveyed much more than his words. Somehow, although our lives were so far apart we had found in just a few minutes, through a kind gesture, a connection. It was a connection which said ‘we are the same, we are people, and I care’.”

Describing her piece, runner-up Farah said: “The woman I have drawn is the incredible Dalia Mogahed. She is not only a successful Muslim woman, but a great woman of power and respect. She has proven that wearing a hijab isn't something that holds you down, but rather a constant reminder for you to know your strength, take pride in yourself and most importantly know your worth.”

Emma Reynolds , the judging artist, said: “It was a huge pleasure to be asked to judge this competition, and I was so blown away and impressed by the incredible standard of artwork. Every student's observations skills are excellent, and I was especially impressed with the students who combined this skill with the storytelling and symbolism in their pieces.

“Huge congratulations to the winner! This is a really great portrait with excellent detail. The subject matter choice is very striking and pertinent in these hard times of austerity measures, welfare cuts and lack of help for the homeless in this country - something I think is important to highlight.”

Principal of Stockport Academy, Mrs McCann, said: “Encouraging our students to take part in exciting opportunities like this, where they can rise to a new challenge, develop their artistic skills and express themselves on a national stage is all part of how we strive to deliver an Education with Character at Stockport Academy. It’s wonderful to see two of our talented young artists go so far in this competition – congratulations to both Billie and Farah who are thoroughly deserving of this recognition!”

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