Wrekin’s boost for local artists

Five budding artists in Shropshire have received a financial boost to their careers thanks to the generosity of The Arts Society Wrekin.

Having received a bequest in memory of one of the society’s long-standing members, Frank Hartill, the committee voted to supplement this gift from their Young Arts budget. 

In early 2019 a sub-committee set about marketing the award for artistic talent in the region.   Five finalists were eventually short-listed from the 14 excellent applications received, but just as they were due to be interviewed C19 lockdown struck.  “However, we were able to interview the finalists via Zoom” said Wrekin Chairman, David Franklin, “and ended up with 2 absolutely brilliant joint winners, Jacob Chandler and Kate Woodman”.

Jacob (25), from Wellington, was educated at Thomas Telford School.  As an exceptional sculptor who works from the garage at the bottom of his garden, he was recently commissioned to produce a stunning 3-metre-high bronze at the Telford Centre.

Kate (16), from Bridgnorth and currently attending Shrewsbury School, is an accomplished singer and actress.  She has recently been made a full company member of the National Youth Theatre for 10 years and is committed to a career in performing arts.

“Both Jacob and Kate made it very clear how they would use any award made to them, and will be delighted to come and tell our members next year how they’ve benefited from the award.  We were so impressed by the candidates that the committee elected to award £1,500 to each winner, and £200 to each of the three runners up” said David.

Runners up:

Joseph Coyle (28) is from Wellington and was home-schooled.  A graduate from Aberystwyth University with an MA in Fine Art (with distinction), Joseph is an outstanding book illustrator and narrator.  Jordan Duggan (18), from Newport, has just left Haberdashers’ Adams and is studying Fine Art at Liverpool John Moore’s University.  Freddie Hudson (18), from Bomere Heath, has just left Wrekin College and has set up his own business in training digital art.

“Those of us on the sub-committee and the interviewing panel feel honoured and privileged to have been part of such a worthwhile project.  Many in the art world, especially youngsters, are struggling more than ever at the moment.  Thanks to our members and Frank’s widow, Anne, in particular, I know we have helped in a hugely positive way.”

Shown below are winners, Jacob and Kate