top of page

Tue, 21 May


The Margate School

Thanet Schools Young Artists Festival 2024

The Margate Rotary Club are pleased to announce the 15th annual edition of this festival

Thanet Schools Young Artists Festival 2024
Thanet Schools Young Artists Festival 2024

Time & Location

21 May 2024, 11:00 – 27 May 2024, 17:00

The Margate School, 31-33 High St, Margate CT9 1DX, UK

About the Event

The Margate Rotary Club are pleased to announce the 15th annual THANET YOUNG ARTIST’S FESTIVAL

The exhibition at The Margate School shows the winners artwork

History of the event, from The Margate Rotary Club...

This event started in 2010 following an article in a Rotary magazine featuring the Rotary Club of Congleton Dane annual school art competition. Our president elect Cliff Thorpe thought this would be a good idea for our area, particularly as our then President Brian Homewood was an artist. We made contact with Congleton Club and got a great deal of information on how they


Our aim was simple, to give the school children of Thanet a platform to show their artistic skills to the general public, at no cost to the schools except in school time. We asked the local Education Business Partnership organisation to introduce us to some schools.

Six schools responded out of fifty four. The six formed the starting point for us to try to hold a school arts competition. We needed a venue that would provide good public access to show one hundred & fifty paintings, thirty per school. We were lucky to attract the support of the “Vue Cinema” at Westwood Cross. They allowed us to use their foyer, which over the two days we would have 6,000 to 8,000 people passing through. Trevor Mursell of Kando Timber made the stands. We supplied the schools with picture mounting boards, (which we still do today). The learning curve was sharp, having set up the paintings using double sided tape on Friday night, on Saturday morning we arrived to find 60% of the pictures were on the floor. The event

overall was a success and achieved our target.

In 2011 the Vue Cinema were not prepared to house us a second time as the stands took up to much space. We went to a Community hall in Broadstairs, this did not give us the footfall that we aimed for. We still had our six schools and displayed 150 paintings. The local press got involved when local columnist and author Jane Wenham–Jones agreed to present the prizes.

2012 was our break-through year when the management of Westwood Cross Retail Park agreed to house four marquees in the main shopping mall. This gave us an opportunity for 40,000 people visiting the shopping centre to see the art over two and half days. We then attracted eighteen schools and limited the schools to twenty pictures per school.

At the 2011 District 1120 conference they had a speaker Rosa Branson MBE who had painted a Rotary Picture for RIBI. We asked Rosa to open the event with the then Mayor of Margate Iris Johnson. The Mayor was so impressed that she offered to exhibit the winning pictures for two weeks in the Mayor’s rooms at Margate town centre, to enable the public extra time to view the art.

The presentation of prizes took place in the Mayor’s rooms, with DG Lyn Mitchell and our President Simon Pulling.

The 2013 event attracted twenty three schools including four special need schools. The growth of schools has been parent driven, by them coming to the marquees looking for their child’s school only to be told that they have not taken part.

We have always judged the art using local artists. The art is judged in age groups with all children competing as individuals not in schools. The task got more difficult with the increase in numbers as the marquees are housing the art in school groups and the judges walking up and down trying to remember which one was in which marquee. This was resolved by Rotarians collecting the

art from the schools one week early. We then have the support of St George’s Foundation School who allows us the use of their main hall to lay out the art in age groups for the judging on the Saturday before. Again District 1120 Conference produced a real gem in Tom Yendell of the Mouth and Foot Professional Artists. We invited him to be one of the judges and to present the prizes. He arranged for his organisation to provide gift vouchers for the special need schools and some of their artists to encourage

them to paint.

2014 saw the number of schools jump to 26 schools exhibiting 430 paintings in five marquees. Each marquee is 3m x 10m. Tom Yendell offered to loan us the use of 40 display screens for the event. This enabled us to use Velcro to fix the pictures to the boards and this gives a more professional appearance.

The event is now established in the school diary and is the place for the schools to exhibit their artistic talent.

In 2015 we had 33 schools participating and had 630 paintings to judge and exhibit. We have also been approached and

agreed to, University of Creative Art at Canterbury to produce a film profile of the event. This will be available for use to promote Rotary.

The funding of the events over the years has been under pinned by the Margate clubs millennium fund, which was created to support young people to achieve their aims. This fund gives about £3000 a year to young individuals and groups.

The main funding has been from advertising, District 1120 grants, and this year a local press Heart of the Community Award of £1500. A local art shop and gallery sponsor the framing of all winners’ pictures and part fund with Margate Rotary gift vouchers for all the winners.

Share This Event

More Upcoming Events

bottom of page