Maltings Art Prize 2020 Award Presentation

The winners of the 2020 Maltings Art Prize were announced last week and along with Loreto College, the overall winning school, saw 13 prize-giving ceremonies taking place across St Albans.

The art competition, with the theme ‘History of St Albans,  saw school pupils aged 4-16 years from 13 local schools compete for the chance to win a cash prize of £1,000 for their school Art Department and a £250 cash prize for the overall winner.

Started early in 2020, this community project has provided children and schools in the local area with an opportunity to express their creativity in what has been an exceedingly difficult year.  The competition changed its approach in March 2020 and, as the UK went into lockdown, St Albans students went into overdrive!  The Maltings Art Prize became a Virtual Art Prize overnight with all artwork being received in digital format.

The competition saw over 300 entries and 40 works were shortlisted by a panel of judges including:  Phil Corrigan, Centre Manager of Maltings Shopping Centre, Councillor Annie Brewster, Kerry Cobb, breakfast presenter on Radio Verulam and Ben Askem, local artist and owner of a working studio and gallery at 16 High Street St Albans.

Medals and trophies were delivered to the individual schools and the winning students were presented with personalised trophies and finalists medals by their tutors, with the exception of Loreto College, the overall winning school.   An outdoor presentation was organised with Katy Jaques Teacher of Art and DT and Mrs Lynch the Head Teacher of Loreto which allowed Phil Corrigan, Maltings Centre Manager to present the overall winning student and the schools art department with their awards and giant cheques.

Group winners are:

AGE 4-7 YRS.  Group 5 winner age 4-7 yrs:  Phoebe Williams, Cunningham Hill infant School

AGE 7-10 YRS. Group 4 winner:  Rosie Bomphrey, Oakwood Primary School

AGE 10-13 YRS. Group 3 winner:  Lily Bedwood, Sandringham School

AGE 13-16 YRS. Group 2 winner: Gabriella Di Gregorio

A Special Merit Prize was awarded to C Winch from Park Street Primary School.

The overall winner was Gabriella Di Gregorio, with her moody painting of ‘A St Albans Roman Soldier’.  Gabriella was delighted and full of smiles as she received her trophy and giant cheque for £250.   Staff from the Art Department were thrilled as they were asked to step forward to accept the £1000 cheque, which they intend to spend on print equipment.  As a final surprise, Gabriella’s artwork is to be mounted and framed.

Phil Corrigan commented “I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the competition, as you can imagine we had a very difficult time choosing the winners.  The awards ceremonies were quite different to last year however it was fantastic that were allowed into the grounds of Loreto College for the main presentation.  I hope this competition inspires students to think about art and it is great to see such a variety of art and design in St Albans schools”.

The digital artwork can be viewed on screen at St Albans Museum + Gallery until the end of the year and the Centre plans to hold an actual exhibition to display the original pieces, which will be open to the public.  Details to follow so watch this space!

Maltings Shopping Centre would like to thank children and teachers at our participating schools for their entries and support of this competition: Loreto College, Beaumont School, Cunningham Hill Infant School, Samuel Ryder, Nicholas Breakspear School, Sandringham School, St Albans High School for Girls, Aldwickbury School, Verulam Boys School, Wheatfields Junior School, St Adrians School, Oakwood Primary and Park Street Primary School.

Phil Corrigan added, “Well done to all of the schools for taking part and inspiring their budding young artists to get involved.  Congratulations to our winners for 2020 and a huge thank you to all the children and their teachers, I look forward to the Maltings Art Prize 2021!”