A pupil from a Telford school is celebrating today after her artwork was crowned overall winner of the 2018 Arts & Minds competition organised by NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union.
Arts & Minds is an annual, UK-wide competition aimed at promoting race equality and diversity in schools. Children and young people from primary, secondary and special schools are judged in two categories: art and creative writing.
The winning entry, a powerful piece of artwork entitled ‘Why Us?’ was produced by Grace Numfor, a Year 11 pupil from Ercall Wood Technology College, Telford. The piece shows three portraits set on a background of words and often upsetting racial slurs.
The entry had already been selected from hundreds of entries from across the UK as a winner in the secondary school artwork competition.
It went on to be chosen as the overall winner by TV presenter and Arts & Minds competition chief judge Gok Wan.
Grace received her award at a national awards ceremony in London.
Gok Wan said of the winning entry:
“This piece is striking. There are so many deep messages going on. The accuracy of the faces portrayed is amazing.
“I have never met any of these people but I feel I know them. The piece is absolutely beautiful.
“The wording just punches you in the face. It is quite a remarkable thing, it drew me in and got me thinking about something I perhaps don’t want to think about.”
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“Huge congratulations to Grace and her teachers at Ercall Wood Technology College.
“This was a very emotive piece and each picture tells a strong and important story with the detail of the facial expressions.
“The images are very powerful and the words add to the overall message.
“There is clearly a lot of thought and feeling that has gone into this piece, you can see the effort Grace has put into its creation.
“The judges found it particularly hard to choose the winners, as the standard of entries throughout the competition was very high across all the age groups and categories.
“Pupils and their teachers have worked very hard to produce such highly imaginative entries, and to come up with new and thought-provoking ways to convey the important issues of diversity and equality.”