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Reading Art For Research Closing Soon

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There is still time for Reading’s budding young artists to sign up for the first annual Art for Research competition.

Art for Research Reading aims to showcase the talents of the town’s children and young people through a public exhibition, while raising money for Cancer Research UK.


Entrants are asked to create a piece of art around the theme of ‘My Reading’ using watercolour, pastel, crayon, pencil, poster paint, ink or oil on A4 or A3 paper to show what their town means to them. Entries can be submitted for judging, along with a £2 donation to Cancer Research UK, until Friday 17 January.

The artworks will then be judged by an expert panel, including Kathleen Soriano, art curator and TV presenter; children’s illustrator Garry Parsons; Dr Kate Allen, associate professor of art at the University of Reading and Judith Appiah, who are both involved in purpleSTARS, a project which aims to make museums and galleries more inclusive for people with learning disabilities or difficulties.

A selection of the entries will then be exhibited to the public at the University of Reading’s Great Hall in March, with a prize-giving ceremony for the winners and runners-up.

So far, 18 local schools have registered to take part in the competition, which will hopefully become an annual event, and there is still time to get involved.


On behalf of purpleSTARS, Dr Kate Allen and Judith Appiah said: “We are very excited to be involved in the competition, as it is such a great opportunity for children and young people of all abilities to share their artworks and raise money for cancer research.

“Art is essential for everyone to inspire and express their ideas and feelings, art can help you to think and have fun.”

Kathleen Soriano said: “I am so excited at the prospect of all the artistic talent that is about to be unleashed in Reading and cannot wait to see the wonderful work that is going to be put together by our young artists over the next few months.

“Self-expression comes in many forms and getting involved in making art is a wonderful way for children and young people to find a way of communicating and storytelling that make us look, think and feel again, often in different ways.

“I will be looking for skill, inventiveness and something that makes me stop in my tracks.”

Garry Parsons said: “Art gives children an opportunity to express their experiences of the world through imagination and creative thinking. But more importantly, making art can be tremendous fun.

“I’m very excited to be part of the very first Art for Research competition in Reading, and I can’t wait to see what the children come up with.”

The competition is divided into seven categories: Key Stage 1 – Reception, year 1 and Year 2; Key Stage 2 – year 3 and year 4; Key Stage 2 – year 5 and year 6; Key Stage 3 – year 7, year 8 and year 9;  SEN: moderate learning difficulties (all ages); SEN: severe learning difficulties (all ages); and SEN: profound (all ages).

Art for Research Reading is also looking for local businesses to lend a hand by sponsoring the project, including opportunities to advertise in the competition’s programme and website.

Further Information

For more information on Art for Research Reading, and for full terms and conditions visit