Year 12 student Katie from Lincoln Minster School has been crowned the winner of this year’s United Learning Art Competition, seeing off strong competition from her peers across the Group.
The competition is open to all secondary school students from United Learning’s academies and independent schools around the country. Budding artists are challenged to create a piece of artwork in the hope of seeing their artwork exhibited at the International High School Arts Festival in Tokyo, Japan. With all five top pieces due to be exhibited this year, the first-place prize winner Katie also receives a once-in-a-lifetime, all expenses paid trip to Japan to visit the art show in person.
After 42 students submitted their artwork, ten were shortlisted for the final. These works were then put before four different audiences – social media users, the Group’s network of art teachers, the leadership conference and the judging artist Ruby Tingle – who had the difficult task of scoring each creation out of 100. The student who received the highest combined score, out of a possible 400, was crowned the winner.
Katie, who scored a total of 360, drawing in an incredible 100 points from the art network, took home the top prize for her painting ‘Gemini’. The creation was inspired by coloured lighting photographer, Maddie West, and shows two faces emerging from the canvas to represent the difference sides of every personality – the persona we present to others versus our emotional interior.
The winner was closely followed by Solove from Ashford School, who scored 358 points and had one of the highest social media score, to be crowned runner-up for his ‘Portrait of Adebayo’. In third place came Sophie from Lincoln Minster School, with 355 points, followed by Ebru from Princess Helena College in 4th place and Tierre from Nova Hreod Academy in 5th place.
Speaking of her piece, the winning artist, Katie, said:
“I wanted to explore the multiple sides to a person’s personality through the use of oil paint. I used broad large brush strokes to keep the appearance quite abstract and left in the texture and drips from the brush strokes to keep the painting quite free and open ended. I wanted to leave the painting open to interpretation from the viewer so that they can decide what the two faces mean to them.”
Ruby Tingle, the judging artist, said:
“It was fantastic to be involved in such a high-quality competition and refreshing to see so many young people really throw themselves into their art and produce some wonderful creations. I was so impressed by all of the shortlisted works – the winning piece was an interesting composition and showed a very sophisticated application of paint. All of those who took part should be very proud of themselves and I hope they continue to hone their artistic talents in the future.”
This year marks the eleventh anniversary of the United Learning Art Competition. The competition forms part of the Group’s commitment to provide opportunities for students to take on new challenges, develop their creative skills and have exciting new experiences – what we call an Education with Character.
Catherine Barker, Interim Head of Partnerships at United Learning, said:
“Our Group Art Competition is in its eleventh year and every year we are blown away by the quality and originality of the work produced by our students. This is testament to the dedicated teachers across our art network who ensure that young people in United Learning schools get the opportunity to develop their creativity and really hone their skills. Now, our top five students will see their hard work and talent rewarded by having their work exhibited internationally – an incredible achievement for any aspiring artist.”