Dacorum children celebrate their artistic achievements at special ceremony in Berkhamsted

The children's shortlisted creations are on display in the gallery at Open Door Berkhamsted

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 9:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 9:50 am

Children from 14 schools across Dacorum came together to celebrate their artistic achievements at an award ceremony for the Dacorum Young Artists competition.

The children and their families attended the event at Open Door Berkhamsted on Saturday, September 25, where their shortlisted art works are on display in the gallery.

Now in its sixth year, the annual competition for school children in years 4 and 5 aims to foster art in the face of pressure from mainstream subjects.

Back row: President of Berkhamsted Rotary, John Whiteley, Artist and Judge Mary Casserley and Berkhamsted Mayor Cllr Stephen Claughton. Front row: Far right, 1st prize winner Laurence Blythe; 4th from left 2nd prize winner Poppy Rogers; 3rd from left 3rd prize winner Archie Thompson.

This year the competition had to take place online due to Covid restrictions, but the panel of judges, led by leading local artist Mary Casserley, still had over 240 entries to choose from.

Awarded Best Overall was Laurence Blythe of Potten End School, 2nd placed was Poppy Rogers of The Thomas Coram School and 3rd was Archie Thompson of Long Marston School.

These students were awarded trophies and vouchers to spend on art materials at Berkhamsted Arts and Crafts.

The Overall winner, Laurence, had his name engraved on the competition cup which will take pride of place for a year at his school.

Artist Mary Casserley and Mayor of Berkhamsted Cllr Stephen Claughton

Mary Casserley spoke at the event and offered inspiration to the young people, describing her journey from talented child artist growing up in Berkhamsted, to her present day career as artist and illustrator.

She said: “The entries to this year's competition were of a higher standard than ever and it was a very tough choice to pick the winners. All of you should be very proud of your work!”

Berkhamsted Mayor, cllr Stephen Claughton, was guest of honour at the ceremony, which was also attended by the President of Berkhamsted Rotary, John Whiteley and representatives of the competition's backers.

Dacorum Young Artists is promoted and supported by the Rotary Clubs of Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead, The Arts Society Gade Valley and Ashridge Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

Joan Fisher, manager of Open Door, said: “It’s been a fantastic morning meeting all these talented young artists.

"We learnt first-hand how beneficial the competition has been for some children who have struggled over the past year, giving them a creative goal to focus on has really boosted their wellbeing.”

The competition to find the Dacorum Young Artists of 2022 has been launched this month, with the theme of ‘What should Your World look like in 2050?', for more information visit the Berkhamsted Rotary website.

The Dacorum Young Artists exhibition can be viewed in the gallery at Open Door until Saturday, October 2, from 9.30am till 3.30pm.

Read More

Read More
Prime Minister Boris Johnson snaps up 'terrific' painting by Berkhamsted artist