Student wins national art competition

Scarlett Millar from Shrewsbury High School is one of the winners of national art competition ‘Spirited Arts – Art in Heaven’ held annually by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE). Over 2000 students were selected from schools from across the UK and entered ‘Spirited Arts’ this year, to get people thinking about Religious Education (RE) through art.

In its 15th year, this competition has attracted over 320,000 participants averaging 20,000 partakers per year since 2004. Hundreds of UK schools get involved, with entries coming from as far afield as Cyprus and Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

The annual competition starts at the beginning of every school year and runs through to 31 July, to enable teachers to incorporate the art competition into their RE lessons. Many schools have an ‘Art in Heaven’ unit of work, or a special learning RE/arts week.

Scarlett’s artwork was based on the theme ‘Doubt or Faith’ and she calls her piece ‘Look up to the light’.

Scarlett Millar aged 13 comments:

‘For the spirited art competition, I have chosen doubt and faith. I chose this because I doubt myself all the time about lots of things, mostly small things like appearance but sometimes also larger issues. However, faith always helps me to get through. I love the Spirited Arts competition because it helps me express my feelings and emotions, whilst thinking about religion and faith’.

Emma Owen Davies, Assistant Head teacher from Shrewsbury High School gives her thoughts on the competition:

‘We are delighted that Scarlett has been recognised as a winner and are very proud of all of our student entries.
The students and I look forward to the Spirited Arts competition every year, because even though this is an art competition catalysed by the RE subject association it not only provides an opportunity to think critically about current affairs and values but it also provides a great platform for cross-curricular activity combining subjects like Art, RE, Literacy and even History, which allows our students to explore different ways of learning.’

Judging took place over the summer by RE Today Adviser, Lat Blaylock and Artist, Carly Brown and High stride Society.

Lat Blaylock comments on the competition as a whole:

‘Spirited Arts is in its 15th year and has attracted over 320,000 participants averaging 20,000 participants per year since 2004, with hundreds of UK schools get involved. Every year the entries are a pleasure to see because they show that children and young people are doing vital thinking about the big issues of beliefs and values through their school RE. Young people from 3-19 express themselves with astonishing depth and clarity. Well done to all pupils and teachers involved.

When some people are cynical about the young and others think religion is out of date, I dare them to look at our web galleries of pupil art and remain unmoved.’

Scarlett’s entry can be found here:

All the winners and some entries from 2018 can be found on the Spirited Arts gallery:

The 2019 Spirited Arts competition is now open to see the new themes and submit your entry visit:

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