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Judges Announced for Forest of Drawings Competition

Wednesday, 30th May 2012

Organisers of the three major arts festivals in The National Forest have agreed to bring their expertise and artistic eye to judge entries for the National Forest Wood Fair’s ‘Forest of Drawings’ competition.

Alistair Kennedy, Creative Director of Burton-based PINT Arts Festival, Sharon Brown, Director of Melbourne Festival and Lorna Blease, Vice Chair of Ashby Arts Festival will be poring over hundreds of entries submitted by primary school children from across the Forest.

The competition will culminate in a display at the National Forest Wood Fair on Bank Holiday weekend Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August, where all entries will be displayed to create a ‘Forest of Drawings’. Entry forms are available from participating schools, from the National Forest marquee at the Ashby Show (Sunday 15 July) or from the website

Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, said: ‘I am honoured that the festivals have agreed to help us with the judging of the competition. We are so lucky to have these high-quality arts festivals in the Forest and who better to judge than the experts?’

Ashby Arts Festival runs from 27 May to 7 June with music, dance, crafts, theatre, photography and workshops for visitors to have a go at various arts.The streets of Ashby are transformed by the unique outdoor art gallery and the festival has its own photography and open art competitions. For more information and a festival programme visit the website  

Lorna Blease said: ‘One of the aims of the Ashby Arts Festival is to encourage young people to be creative and to try their hand at various arts forms and I am delighted to be included as a judge for the children’s Forest of drawings competition.’

Melbourne Festival is the highlight of South Derbyshire’s cultural calendar. Each September Melbourne comes alive as a hub for creative and performing arts. Concerts and performances will run from 15 to 29 September, with its popular Art and Architecture Trail, featuring over 100 artists exhibiting in 60 homes, halls and businesses in the heart of Melbourne, taking place on the opening weekend. For more information and a festival programme visit the website

Sharon Brown said: ‘Melbourne comes alive during the Festival, the streets throng with people enjoying the arts, crafts and great food and music along the Trail.’

The new contemporary art festival, PINTArts Festival, takes place across Burton upon Trent from 26 October to 4 November. Artists will exhibit and perform in venues across the town with painting, sculpture, illustration, ceramics, photography, craft and music. For more information visit the website

Alistair Kennedy said: ‘I'm very honoured to represent Burton upon Trent on the judging panel for this competition. The PINT Arts festival is all about fresh, creative and dynamic visual arts and maybe we'll unearth some of the art stars of the future within this amazing forest of drawings!’

The National Forest Wood Fair is organised by the National Forest Company and Leicestershire County Council, and will see awe-inspiring lumberjacks, the fast and furious UK Championship Log to Leg Race, horse logging, chainsaw carving, pole lathe turning, forest machinery, falconry and lots of children’s activities from eco art to greenwood crafts, making pizzas to scaling the climbing wall. For more information on the Wood Fair visit the website


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