Deadline for entries to Junior Painter of the Year Awards is fast approaching

Illustrator Alan Nolan and visually impaired artist Padraig Naughton have teamed up with Sightsavers Ireland to call on primary school students across Mayo to let their inner artists loose and get their paintings ready for the sixth annual Junior Painter of the Year Awards, reminding them that the closing date is only weeks away, January 16 2015.

Sightsavers Ireland is asking students to create an imaginative painting inspired by the theme “I Want You to See …”and show others how the world looks through their eyes. The awards are open to all primary school students, and budding artists have a chance to win appropriately arty prizes not just for themselves but for their classmates too, and substantial cash prizes for their schools.

Artist and director of Arts and Disability Ireland Padraig Naughton returns to judge the popular competition and is joined this year by new judge and current illustrator-in-residence for Children’s Books Ireland, Alan Nolan. Speaking about his involvement in this year’s awards, Mr Nolan said: ‘I am really looking forward to seeing all the great artwork from students. I have no doubt I’ll see a huge amount of colour, painting styles, and creativity. This year’s theme will allow the imagination and creative juices to flow, inspiring wonderful and beautiful pieces for me to judge, which I know will be challenging but very exciting. It is great to see the encouragement of creativity through art and also to see that Sightsavers Ireland are informing young Irish people about the value of sight and the impact that living with blindness can have on children around the world.’

The Junior Painter of the Year Awards competition is sponsored by The Irish Times which has donated cash prizes for the schools of the national winners, and The Art Materials Company which has supported by donating prizes to all regional and national winners including art hampers and vouchers. Every child that enters will receive a certificate of participation in recognition of his/her creative efforts.

Fifteen regional winners will be selected and will have the opportunity to see their work displayed at a special awards day in March 2015 where the overall national winners will be announced. The closing date for entry is January 16. Parents and children can get involved by speaking to their school teacher or by contacting Sightsavers Ireland on or


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