Thames Chase invites young artists to share artworks inspired by lockdown and the community forest.

Thames Chase is running a special art competition for children to showcase their talents along the theme of ‘Out and About’ after many experienced more of the Thames Chase Community Forest during lockdown.

The project is part of the Thames Chase annual art exhibition which each year sees over 150 local artists participate in a display at the Forest Centre. In 2019, local artist Tom Mead, a finalist in the 2019 Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year competition, launched the Art and Sculpture Exhibition, and last year during lockdown, judged the children’s entries.

We were fortunate to receive some amazing entries from young artists in 2020 and our two winners, Fern Gibson and Siyona Bhandari produced spectacular pieces which have been displayed at the visitor centre.

This year we are delighted our judge will be the Thames Chase Artist in Residence, Otis Griffith, who has worked alongside Thames Chase for some time, with one of his recycled sculptures taking pride of place within the visitor centre. Otis produces sculptures from a variety of recycled and new materials, transforming them by hand into individual pieces of art. He has recently appeared on BBC’s Home Is Where The Art Is and Quest’s Scrap Kings.

This is the third children’s art competition which runs alongside the annual adult exhibition, and this year, we are working with local artists to deliver inspirational sessions through the summer holidays to help inspire young minds with their submission, working in different mediums and processes.

The artwork can be any medium – paint, charcoal, collage or sculpture and an image of the child’s favourite artwork should be emailed to with the sentence ‘I love forests because…” completed, before 23:59 26th August 2021. Entries will be judged in 2 categories (4-10yrs and 11-16yrs).

Trustee Mary Wright says “Inspiring the next generation to understand the world around them is vital to ensure that they take care of the landscape and continue to protect the environment. Through the children’s art competition we hope that young people will be actively engaged with our work throughout the community forest by the way that artists have envisioned animals, figures or a landscape.”

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