Organisers of an art competition in Staffordshire are bracing themselves for a flurry of more than 200 entries from children across the county.
After 40 pupils submitted a painting or drawing of a rare breed animal in the inaugural competition at the Staffordshire County Show last year, organisers said the success has prompted them to expand it.
Last year only pupils from Christ Church Academy, Stone, and Oldfields Hall Middle School, Uttoxeter, took part – but now any student in year seven or eight at a school in Staffordshire can submit an entry.
The event is organised by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) Staffordshire Support Group. RBST Committee Member David Griffiths said the excitement and buzz of the competition indicates it is going to be very popular.
“The rare breed art competition was introduced in order to get the children involved in the show, but it has been far more popular than we ever thought. “Already I have heard from 12 schools who want to take part this year so we’re expecting hundreds of entries.
“We had such positive feedback last year, the pupils had been going online and researching not only what animals they wanted to draw, but also more about which animals are classed as rare breeds and what the trust is doing. “There has been that much excitement from the children, we are thrilled that through our competition they have a chance to get creative and learn more too.”
Any submissions must be a single painting or drawing of a maximum A3 size and include one or more rare breed animals, as defined by the RBST watchlist 2016.
The artwork can be created with any materials – pens, pencils, poster paints, acrylic, etc. – and should be submitted by May 18.
The winners will be revealed at Staffordshire County Show on June 1 and prizes will be handed out for the first, second and third placed pictures in both the year seven and year eight age groups.
The first prize for both age categories is a day out at the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke-on-Trent for a family of four, with an afternoon tea style lunch, a chance to paint a mug or plate and discounts in the factory shop.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer such a fantastic first prize this year too,” Mr Griffiths added.
“This competition has already grown so much in one year, we are really looking forward to getting all the entries in and seeing how creative the children of Staffordshire have been.
“Our aim is to have all entries on display on the balcony at Bingley Hall throughout the show on June 1 and 2. “Last year Lord Stafford was the judge and, even though the show is during half term, we had groups of staff from the schools who took part coming along to see their pupils’ work on display.
“They were taking pictures and sending them to other teachers, it was great.
“We hope to enthuse the children of the county once again.”
During this year’s show there will be superb local produce to sample, exquisite crafts for sale and a whole host of family activities, displays and performances.
Over the two days, entertainment will be provided by the Imps Motorcycle Display Team, a vintage machinery parade, the Young Farmers floats and the Mounted Games Association as well the Woodfest activity area.
Tickets for the event are available from the Showground website www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk or office by calling 01785 258 060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be available from all other outlets from May 1.
Entries for the rare breed art competition should be posted to Holly Hobson at the Staffordshire County Showground, Weston Road, Stafford, ST18 0BD.
Keep up to date with the latest announcements from show organisers by following @StaffsShow on Twitter or liking Staffordshire County Show on Facebook.