This week’s guest column comes from Tony Barker, communications and PR manager at Linkage Community Trust ...
Now that schools are preparing for the start of term, I am hoping that pupils in special schools and those who have additional support needs in mainstram schools will be thinking about their entries for a new competition organised by Lincolnshire learning disability charity, Linkage Community Trust.
Linkage ArtBeat closes at the end of January 2015 and our aim is to inspire and celebrate creativity by challenging students to produce artwork or photography. Entries are invited from all over the county and beyond.
We know from our own students at Linkage College that their standard of artwork can be incredible. I think back to last term when learner Michael Jameson produced 3D images in plasticine and we had some very able photographers too. Another Linkage client won an art poster competition which will help Lincolnshire County Council promote services for people with learning disabilities.
The judges will include Stephen Stray, the editor of The Standard, and we are thrilled to have the newspaper on board. Skegness resident Philip Williams, our own artist in residence, will also be helping to choose the winners.
Linkage ArtBeat is offering £100 as the top prize for each of its age categories - over 16, under 16 and under 14 - although we are planning to introduce a younger age group should there be demand from primary schools. The closing date is January 30, 2015, and an awards ceremony will be held in March in Louth, before an exhibition of the winning entries tours the successful schools.
All we need now are the entries to start coming in. There are full details on the Linkage website, www.linkage.org.uk, but we can post a pack out. So please think about what could be submitted. The size should be no bigger than A3, there is no specific theme but photography should be eye-catching and the artwork can be on any media – watercolours, pastels, acrylics, oils, for example. Over to you, students – make it your New Year’s resolution and win great prizes!