Budding artists have work displayed at Higgins art gallery in Bedford

The prize winners in front of their work

The prize winners in front of their work

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Children as young as three have produced art work for a unique exhibition to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Harpur Trust.

The Bedford charity introduced ‘Recording Bedford’ which is a collection of children’s work featured in the Sir William Harpur Gallery at the Higgins Art Gallery and Museum.

Key Stage 1 prize winners

Key Stage 1 prize winners

The exhibition displays almost 140 pictures by school children aged three to 18 which were produced for a competition launched by the trust to celebrate its 450th anniversary.

Prizes were awarded across six age categories with the top prizes in each worth £100 to the pupil with their school receiving £500 for art equipment, and additional prizes offered in the Sixth Form category by NADFAS (The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies). The winning entries which included pupils from Castle Newnham, Kempston Rural Lower, St Andrew’s, Pilgrims Pre-preparatory, Livingstone Primary, Great Denham Primary, Queens Park Academy, St John’s Special School & College, Bedford School, Lincroft, Wootton and Sharnbrook, received their prizes at a special awards ceremony prior to the launch.

The competition was judged by artist and designer Alex Chinneck, sculptor and former Harpur Trust grant recipient Suresh Dutt, Head of the Higgins Tom Perrett and Dawn Giles who is Chief Executive of &Co (formerly Bedford Creative Arts).

Chairman of the Harpur Trust, Murray Stewart, said: “The aim of this competition was to inspire local children to get in touch with their artistic side and to explore the character and history of the town in a year which celebrates both the 450th anniversary of the trust and the 850th anniversary of the charter.

“We are thrilled that so many children have taken part. We are especially pleased that The Higgins Bedford agreed to host the exhibition; this venue is a great asset for the community and particularly for children and its location ensures that everyone can have an opportunity to see the work”.

The exhibition is open to the public until Sunday August 28.