The Harpur Trust celebrates Bedford’s youngest artists with its 2020 Virtual Art Competition Awards


Local charity The Harpur Trust, will be celebrating the work of local school children virtually as it brings to an end its 2020 Schools’ Art Competition. 

The awards will be streamed at 6pm on Thursday, October 8, at and on Facebook.  A link to an exciting new virtual exhibition will also be unveiled on the night.  

The Trust launched its third competition last Summer with the theme ‘The Fabric of Bedford’. 

Open to all schools across the Borough, 31 primary and secondary schools signed up for free workshops with the Trust’s team of Visiting Artists. 

With the deadline for submission just days after lockdown, many schools rushed to get their work in. 

Despite this, the restrictions over the summer meant the exhibition at the Higgins Bedford had to be cancelled. 

Sarah Elam, who manages the Trust’s community events programmes explained: “With all the challenges presented by Covid this year, we were determined that the pupils who have participated in the competition would still get to see their work displayed and receive the accolade they deserve. 

So whilst we haven’t been able to offer our usual exhibition at the Higgins, the great advantage in going online is that pupils’ work can be shared far and wide with friends and family.

“The awards event is being filmed in a way that really embraces and reflects the world of virtual reality and I am so excited by the creativity that has emerged out of necessity. Whilst aimed at the pupils, I know it will be an enjoyable and entertaining event for everyone watching.”

The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, The High Sheriff and the Mayor are just some of the special guests who will be presenting the prizes during the 30 minute event.

The Art Competition takes place every two years and has involved 52 schools since it began in 2016 as part of the charity’s 450th anniversary celebrations. 

In addition to running the visiting artist workshop programme, the Trust also funds workshops for teachers delivered by local artists and providing a range of techniques and ideas using store cupboard and foraged materials.

Tune in to on the night, or watch live on Facebook @TheHarpurTrust

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