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Reydon youngster launches competition

PUBLISHED: 15:56 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:11 06 July 2010

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD from Reydon is helping to launch a national competition aimed at encouraging children to take up art.

Jack Wilmot's face will be seen all over the country as holiday company Butlins launches the competition this week to find artists of the future with its first ever Toddler Art Prize.

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD from Reydon is helping to launch a national competition aimed at encouraging children to take up art.

Jack Wilmot's face will be seen all over the country as holiday company Butlins launches the competition this week to find artists of the future with its first ever Toddler Art Prize.

Jack's parents, Chris and Kerry Wilmot, who are directors of Southwold Town Garage, have taken him for holidays at Butlins in recent years. While at one of the camps, Jack was popular with staff and his photograph was used in a Butlins brochure.

Earlier this year, Mrs Wilmot had a telephone call from Butlins asking if Jack, who's a reception pupil at St Felix School in Reydon and enjoys art himself, would like to take part in a photo-shoot in London.

“We were all very excited and Jack just loved it as it was his first visit to London. He was so natural in front of the camera and everyone was happy with the way it went,” she said.

“I am so pleased that Jack's face is being used to encourage other children to take an interest in art,”

The competition has a prize fund totalling £10,000 and aims to find Britain's leading contemporary artists aged four and under.

“We're searching for the mini Mondrians, weeny Warhols, and petite Pollocks.” said Mike Godolphin, Butlins' head of entertainment.

A panel of judges from the Contemporary Art Society - the leading national organisation which has been encouraging the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art since 1910 - will choose 12 pieces of submitted artwork for exhibition at a gallery in East London in October 2010.

The shortlisted children and their families will be invited to an impressive 'orange squash and canapés' opening and award ceremony, where winners will be revealed and the first ever winner of the Butlins Toddler Art Prize announced.

The chosen 12 talented toddlers will share in a prize fund totalling £10,000 with the winning tot banking £500 in cash.

Entries can be anything from paintings to sculptures to installations.

Fabienne Nicholas of the Contemporary Art Society, and a judge in the competition said:

“Getting toddlers engaged in thinking about art is an exciting idea. From sculpture to painting, collage to photographs, what's interesting about art today is how it can open a whole world of possibilities that goes beyond just making a pretty picture.”

To enter visit www.butlins.com/artprize. All entries must be received by August 31, 2010, and the 12 shortlisted toddlers, and their immediate family, will be invited to attend the VIP awards ceremony and opening of the exhibition in the capital.

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