Monday, 12 March 2012

Whitton's young artists add colour to our Village


Over 200 young people from Whitton schools entered an art competition to celebrate their local High Street.
‘My Whitton High Street’ was a competition organised by the Whitton Town Centre Manager, Whitton Business Association and Richmond Council. It is funded by the Mayor’s Outer London Fund, where the borough received £1.2m to redevelop high streets.
In Whitton, £361,200 has been allocated to make repairs and alterations to shop fronts, replace street lighting to restore the 1930s character of the area and animate the town centre with visual arts.
Over the past few months, children from St Edmunds, Nelson Road, Heathfield Juniors, Bishop Perrin and Chase Bridge Primary Schools have been drawing their favourite shop, café or restaurant and writing up what they like about it.
Forty two prizes across different age groups were awarded at a ceremony on Saturday.
Cllr Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor and Competition Judge, said: “I was quite overwhelmed by the response to this competition and the talent on show. We have some budding young artists in Whitton. I would like to congratulate all those who took part and all our local schools who have added colour and vibrancy to our Village.
As a former pupil of St Edmunds it was wonderful to see such a strong showing from my old school but congratulations go to everyone. A BIG WELL DONE FROM ME!”
Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Communities, Business and Culture, said: “In the All in One survey, residents in Whitton expressed the view that they wanted an opportunity to explore, celebrate and express the identity of their local area.
“As part of this, last year Whitton had an artist in residence, who worked with the community to create work that is inspired by local memories, hopes and aspirations.
“This competition aimed to work with younger members of the community and help them be inspired by the place in which they live. I would like to congratulate the winners and all those who took part.”
Bridget Clements, the Town Centre Manager, and one of the judges added:
“It was fascinating to see what the children liked about their favourite shop along the High Street, and great to see so many wonderful visual and written expressions of their creativity.  It was also interesting to see the wide range of shops, restaurants and cafes they chose – demonstrating how much we have to offer.
“We had a great turn out on Saturday for the awards ceremony which was organised at the library and we thank the school teachers who helped to make this happen.”
Entries were judged by Bridget Clements, Liz Brown (Manager of the local library) and two local ward councillors – Cllr Elliott and Cllr Jaeger.  All entries are on display at Whitton Library until the end of March.