Competition for schools gets right to the art of the matter

Students from The Three Rivers Learning Trust who were the runners up in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth
Students from The Three Rivers Learning Trust who were the runners up in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth

Estate agent Strutt and Parker joined forces with Morpeth’s Three Rivers Learning Trust to hold an art competition intended to put its office in the town in the picture.

The aims of the contest were to find an artwork to display in Strutt and Parker’s Oldgate office, and to highlight the creative talent being nurtured at the town’s King Edward VI School (KEVI) and Newminster and Chantry middle schools.

Danny Lillico and Sophie Thomson from The Three Rivers Learning Trust who took part in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth

Danny Lillico and Sophie Thomson from The Three Rivers Learning Trust who took part in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth

The schools were given a £750 donation by the estate agent to cover the cost of new art materials, including printing press sets.

More than 200 entries for the competition were submitted, and they were then whittled down to a shortlist of 40.

Teachers, senior students and members of staff at Strutt and Parker judged the competition and picked the winner.

Sam Connor, a teacher at KEVI, said: “Strutt and Parker kindly donated £750 to the trust and we were able to purchase two new printing presses and a whole set of screen-printing equipment.

teachers from The Three Rivers Learning, Strutt and Parker members and Sophie Thomson who took part in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth

teachers from The Three Rivers Learning, Strutt and Parker members and Sophie Thomson who took part in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth

“Strutt and Parker was very keen to work with the school and work with the community and wanted to put together this competition.

“The theme of the competition was Morpeth Town and we wanted the students to just look at beauty hotspots and convey that in some form.”

The overall winner was KEVI student Sophie Thomson, and the two runners-up were Danny Lillico and Caitlin Scott, both pupils at Chantry Middle School.

Sophie said: “It was really exciting to win. I didn’t think I had any chance of winning.

Students from The Three Rivers Learning Trust who took part in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth

Students from The Three Rivers Learning Trust who took part in the art competition at Strutt and Parker in Morpeth

“My portrait had the clock tower with the buildings to the side. For the sky, I used some watercolour paint, and then I used acrylic paint as well for the more detailed areas.

“I was really trying to experiment with colour and just try to see which colour worked best.

“The town has very distinctive orange bricks around here so I thought I’d try to emphasise them a lot and use the colours of the buildings to have a bit of a contrast.”

Samuel Gibson, a partner at Strutt and Parker, said: “Students from Years 7 to 10 showcased their art, and there was quite a big difference in terms of style and ability, and there was a startling array of colour.

“I think the judges had a challenging time looking at such a big variety of wonderful pictures.

“I think, above all, that it was so great to see budding talent, and we’d love to expand our work with the schools and the community.

“Many congratulations to everyone — all those shortlisted, the winners and all those who took part.”