UWE Artists flourish at prestigious Art of Nurture competition

Issue date: 06 April 2011

Two Illustration graduates from the University of the West of England have won the regional heats and now will compete in the finals of the Art of Nurture, a prestigious national art competition run by Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance.

Bristol-based professional Illustrators Sarah Grice and Sara Thielker will now compete in the national finals, to be held tonight (Wednesday 6 April 2011) in the iconic setting of London's Victoria and Albert museum. The lucrative prize will see the winning designs used in a high profile national advertising campaign for Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance.

The regional final was held at Bristol's Royal West of England Academy. The 23 anonymised entries from across the South West were judged by a panel of five including RWA Director, Trystan Hawkins and Mary Rouncefield, a local artist and previous Art of Nurture finalist.

Mary Rouncefield, said, “The South West finalists have done the region proud once again this year. All the entries were amazing and judging was very difficult. Two years ago, as a UWE Illustration student, I reached the national finals and it created a lot of opportunities for me as a new professional artist on the scene.

“Through the contacts I've made through Arts & Business, I've had work exhibited in the offices of companies such as Beachcroft and TLT, both Law firms in Bristol. I'm thrilled to be an 'Arts & Business' artist and thoroughly appreciate the support they have given me.”

Now in its fifth year, and open to graduates for the first time, Art of Nurture is designed to support and encourage UK artistic talent. The competition has been developed in partnership with Arts & Business, a national not-for-profit arts agency.

UWE Illustration students have an established track record in the Art of Nurture competition with winners in the national top three for the past five years. Last year's national winner was UWE Illustration graduate, Gaby Selby.

Sarah Grice, who worked for a year in 2009 as an Illustration Junior Fellow at UWE, said, “I feel this competition is a golden opportunity to have your work viewed by a wider audience and would fully encourage other artists to take part. I was really pleased to hear of the addition of the graduate category this year, I'd previously entered as a student, so it goes to show that it's good to keep persisting as who knows what the judges will choose.

“Having worked last year with the students when they submitted entries (and Gaby going on to win), it's a pleasant surprise to be going through to the finals myself this year. I am very proud to be representing the South West and UWE at the finals. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the regional finals and meeting the other entrants, and am looking forward to going to London and hugely excited that it will be at the Victoria and Albert.”

Sara Thielker, also working as an Illustrator, said, “I was delighted to be selected for the regional final, let alone win it, and I would like to thank the judges and everyone that attended for their kind words and support.”

This year's UWE regional finalists also included graduate, Richard Partridge who came third nationally in the competition in 2009 and current Illustration students Nick Chambers and Rosa Middleton.

Gary Embury is the lecturer who coaches the students for the Art of Nurture competition each year, he said, “Congratulations to all the UWE regional finalists. With over 600 entries received nationally, they've done exceptionally well and it confirms the courses continuing success in gaining awards for students in national and international competitions. It's great to see Sarah and Sara making their mark in the graduate category too and we wish them well in this week's final. ”

The winners will have their work exhibited at the national finals at the Victoria and Albert Museum. A prestigious panel will judge the competition, including Jonny Hannah, the award-winning illustrator, whose work has featured in Vogue and The New York Times and Arts and Business Chief Executive, Colin Tweedy.

James Hester, regional director in the South West and Wales, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, said, “Art of Nurture is a fantastic competition which promotes the importance of encouraging and supporting young artistic talent in this country.

“Through the Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance's advertising campaign, these students and graduates may have a valuable opportunity to showcase their work. This year's entries were of a high calibre, with over 600 coming in from across the country.”

For more information about studying BA (Hons) Illustration at UWE see: http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/w224/

For more information on the Art of Nurture see: http://www.artofnurture.co.uk/

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers


Tel: 0117 32 82208

E-mail: Jane.Kelly@uwe.ac.ukor Mary.Price@uwe.ac.uk

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