The Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards is a national art competition for primary schools which links to the curriculum. Each year the competition has a different theme chosen to appeal to children with different interests and capacities, and encourage them to engage creatively. This year’s theme – Framing the Future – works towards a future where people with disabilities are included in the picture, and where everyone has the right to learn, earn and be happy, no matter where they live.
When I was at school, I didn’t have a creative bone in my body! But as I grew older I realised that my creativity may lie in writing!
It seems that we all have an inner creativity and it may well be true that hidden within many Irish children is a mini-Matisse or pint-sized Picasso bursting to break out.
For the past 6 years, Sightsavers has celebrated the creativity of Ireland’s children through its Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards competition. The 2017 Junior Painter Awards was launched in the past few weeks by Emmy award-winning costume designer, Joan Bergin, and Laureate na nÓg and children’s book illustrator, PJ Lynch.
Open to primary school students of all ages across Ireland, this year’s theme of “Framing the Future” is expected to inspire thousands of imaginative entries. Sightsavers wants to frame the future as an inclusive world where children living with disabilities get to go to school and invites Irish children to let their imaginations run wild and create their very own masterpiece which envisions what they see when they think of the future.
Entrants have the chance to win cash prizes for their schools, sponsored by the Irish Times, and memberships and ‘toolboxes’ full of arts and crafts materials from ReCreate Ireland.
Speaking about the launch of this year’s awards, Sightsavers Communications Manager Ann O’Leary said: “It is a sad and startling fact that 90% of people who are blind live in developing countries and 90% of children who are blind do not go to school. The Junior Painter Awards is a fantastic way to teach Irish children about the value of sight and the impact that living with blindness can have on children around the world; the competition is an important educational tool which integrates with the primary school curriculum”.
Fifteen regional winners will be selected and will have the opportunity to see their work displayed at a special Awards Day in spring 2017 where three overall national winners will be announced. Every child that enters will receive a Certificate of Participation in recognition of their artistic efforts.
The closing date for entry is Friday November 25th 2016. 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
So grab your budding artists. Get them to open their eyes to the world around them.
Open Your Eyes, Sharpen Your Pencils, Clean Your Brushes, Get Set For The Return Of Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards