Calling all artists

I have often said that Staffordshire is a talented and creative county and we are keen to make sure we give both our young aspiring and our more well established artists the chance to showcase their artistic talents.

With this in mind, I’m pleased to announce that our annual search for the county’s top artists has been launched. The Staffordshire Open Art Exhibition is one of our most popular shows each year. Now in its 25th year it continues to help to showcase the wealth of creative talent within the county by giving local people the chance to display their work to a wider audience.

The competition is open to people of all ages who were born in Staffordshire or who live, work or study in the county, with selected exhibits going on to be displayed in the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford. Our arts team always look forward to receiving a fabulous range of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, film & animation and much more, so I would encourage people to get their works in.

Artists should submit their entries to the Shire Hall Gallery on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 April. The actual exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 16 May and will run until Sunday 5 July 2015. You can find out more at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/openart

Also a big congratulations to the 32 young athletes who received funding from our Staffordshire Talented Athletes Fund. This was our busiest year ever with over 100 applications with a variety of sports represented including, figure skating, athletics, cricket, canoe slalom, cycling and many more. I was very impressed with the standards with some young people competing not only in national competitions but also European and World Championship competitions.

We have great sporting talent here in the county which we want to nurture and our grants are helping our young people with the costs of training and competing in their chosen sports.   We have many sports clubs, coaches, volunteers and parents who are all helping young people achieve their sporting dreams which is great news.

The grants available were £1000 (gold), £500 (silver) and £300 (Bronze). You can read more about the winners at www.sportacrossstaffordshire.co.uk. I wish all our young athletes the best of luck in their upcoming competitions.

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