Borders school pupils show their artistic talents

John Byrne annual art competition. Winners and runners up 2017.
John Byrne annual art competition. Winners and runners up 2017.

Three budding artists from the Borders were named as runners-up in the John Byrne national drawing competition last week.

St Mary’s School in Melrose yielded two successes. with Charlotte Little, in primary four, and Chloe-Marie Graham, in S2, both recognised alongside Thomas Freeland-Cook, in primary seven, from Yetholm Primary School.

S2 pupils at St Mary's School Chloe-Marie Graham with John Byrne.

S2 pupils at St Mary's School Chloe-Marie Graham with John Byrne.

Judges including playwright and artist Mr Byrne, writer of the TV series Your Cheatin’ Heart and Tutti Frutti, selected the budding Borders artists from thousands of entries across the country, and each of the 30 runners were presented with specially designed certificates at an award ceremony at Paisley Museum last week. Their entries will be displayed there for the coming five weeks.

The Paisley-born 77-year-old said: “The talent this year has been outstanding, which made my job as a judge very difficult in choosing the overall winners.

“I’m encouraged by the standard of all the artwork submitted in this year’s competition and I hope pupils across Scotland will continue to show us their artistic skills and love for drawing.”

Head of art at St Mary’s School Deborah Wood added: “The girls were inspired by the artists call to take up pencil and draw. We are very proud of them here at St Mary’s School.”

Primary four pupil at St Mary's School Charlotte Little with John Byrne.

Primary four pupil at St Mary's School Charlotte Little with John Byrne.

The overall winner was Cameron Lawson from Cedarbank School in Livingston. Eleana Meikle from Wellington School in Ayrshire came in second place and Charlotte Stewart from Gordon Primary School in Aberdeenshire, placed third.

Bill Maxwell, Education Scotland chief executive said: “I’m really pleased to see this competition, now in its third year, continue to attract such a high standard of entries from young artists of all ages. Education Scotland is delighted to be involved in the competition as it offers pupils, across Scotland, the opportunity to showcase their drawing skills and creativity and it is a great way to raise the profile of drawing. Congratulations to all the winners and those who took part.”

John was assisted by Ron Cowie, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland, Lorna MacDonald, City of Edinburgh Council, and Wilma Eaton, University of Strathclyde, to judge the competition which took place at the University of Strathclyde.