Annual arts prize returns with a theme of nature in St Albans

Past winners of the Maltings Art Prize with centre manager Phil Corrigan.

Past winners of the Maltings Art Prize with centre manager Phil Corrigan. - Credit: Maltings

Budding artists are invited to pick up their pens and paint brushes and present a picture celebrating the nature of our amazing city. 

The annual Maltings Art Prize is designed to support and encourage the development of art skills from the students of St Albans-based schools.

Although the past year has been difficult, it has also inspired a wealth of creativity allowing for reflection, unexpected inspiration, and much needed calm.

Maltings Art Prize 2021.

Maltings Art Prize 2021. - Credit: Maltings

The competition is for youngsters aged four to 18 and can be either 2D artwork or 3D ceramics on the theme of  ‘Nature of St Albans’.

Inspiration can be drawn from favourite wild animals or  a tree you pass on the way to school, a beautiful landscape you have seen in St Albans to an outdoor experience you have really enjoyed – such as cycling in the countryside or simply walking your dog – the choice is yours! 


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The top prize is £1,000 for the winning child’s school art department, and £250 for them, but all finalists will receive trophies recognising their work, and the winning pieces will go on display in and exhibition later this year. 

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Loreto College finalists.

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Loreto College finalists. - Credit: Maltings

Centre manager Phil Corrigan said: “We ran this initiative for the first time in 2019 and had an overwhelming response, it was a great success which saw over 900 entries from 13 different schools! Last year’s competition had to be adapted slightly to become a virtual art prize however the response was just as positive. This year we hope to attract even more schools and look forward to receiving even more pieces of wonderful artwork.   

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“We are always looking at ways of engaging with the local community and the Maltings Art Prize really hit the spot – so many parents, teachers and pupils asked if we would be running it again, engagement was tremendous, so we didn’t even question rolling it out this year.”

There are five different groups for entries: Group One (Years 12-13, ages 16 – 18) Group Two (Years 9-11, ages 13-16), Group Three (Years 6 to 8, ages 10-13), Group Four (Years 3-5, ages seven to 10) and Group Five (Reception to Year 2, ages four to seven). 

Pupils are invited to use pencils, inks, watercolours, acrylic paints, oil pastels, fixed chalk pastels and ceramics, but prints and photographs are not permitted.  Groups One and Two should use A4 to A3 maximum, Groups Three, Four and Five A4 maximum, and ceramics should be no bigger than 30cm by 30cm. 

Artwork should include the child’s name, contact details, date of birth, name of current school and group category they are entering. 

There are already 11 schools registered for this year’s competition including Loreto College, Verulam School, Oaklands Primary School and Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School, and there is still time to register! 

 Schools should register via email to MaltingsArtPrize@gmail.com using the subject of ‘Maltings Art Prize’ by July 31, and artwork should be dropped off at the management office at The Maltings Shopping Centre by October 30. 

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Sandringham School finalist and group winner Lily Bedwood.

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Sandringham School finalist and group winner Lily Bedwood. - Credit: Maltings

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Oakwood Primary finalist and group winner Rosie Bomphrey

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Oakwood Primary finalist and group winner Rosie Bomphrey - Credit: Maltings

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Loreto College finalist group winner and overall winner Gabriella di Gregorio.

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Loreto College finalist group winner and overall winner Gabriella di Gregorio. - Credit: Maltings

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Cunningham Hill Primary finalist and group winner Phoebe Williams.

Maltings Arts Prize 2020: Cunningham Hill Primary finalist and group winner Phoebe Williams. - Credit: Maltings


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