With Wicklow schools submitting hundreds of entries last year, Sightsavers is calling on all budding young artists across the county to enter the 2016 Sightsavers Junior Painter of the Year featuring new theme “Imagine 2030”. A lot can change in 15 years so Sighstavers are inviting primary school students to be inspired and create an artwork that shows how they want the world they live in to look in the year 2030. Student artists have a chance to win appropriately arty prizes not just for themselves but for their classmates too, and substantial cash prizes of €200, €300 and €1,000 for their schools. Artist and director of Arts & Disability Ireland Padraig Naughton returns to judge the popular competition and is joined this year by new judge, artist and educator Deirdre Rogers.
Embracing creativity and education are the core objectives of the Junior Painter of the Year competition. By the end of September, entry packs will have been sent to primary schools nationwide which include interactive activities and lesson plans for teachers that highlight how entering the competition ties in with the primary school curriculum. It is a sad and startling fact that over 90% of blind children in developing countries receive no schooling. Alongside restoring sight and preventing avoidable blindness, a key focus of Sightsavers is to ensure that children who are living with visual impairment can receive an education in order for them to live their lives as independently as sighted people.
Speaking about the launch of this year’s awards, Sightsavers Ireland CEO, Michael Marren said: “We are looking forward to seeing all of the fantastic creations this year in the Junior Painter of the Year Awards 2016. Every year Sightsavers aims to educate and inform primary school children of the value of sight and the impact blindness has on the education of children all over the world. There are 1.4 million children worldwide living with blindness and 12 million visually impaired. We hope this competition raises awareness of such issues and the work Sightsavers does in the developing world to combat visual impairment. Best of luck to all of the children entering this year’s competition.”
The Junior Painter of the Year Awards competition is proudly sponsored by ReCreate, an arts and creative reuse project which collects unused materials from businesses around Ireland for art, craft, theatre and creative projects. Every child that enters will receive a Certificate of Participation in recognition of their creative efforts.
Fifteen regional winners will be selected and will have the opportunity to see their work displayed at a special Awards Day in February 2016 where three overall national winners will be announced. The closing date for entry is November 27th. Parents and children can get involved by speaking to their school teacher or by visiting Sightsavers website to request entry forms: www.sightsavers.ie/juniorpainter