Art Teacher and keen sportsman, Mr Dan Goddard loves the Olympic Games and was disheartened by its postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also missing his students due to Shrewsbury's school closure, he decided to create his own Art Olympics competition, which Key Stage 3 students could enter.
The brief itself was relatively simple and fitted in nicely with the distance learning Shrewsbury students were doing at the time. Entrants were asked to choose any household object and alter it in any way they wanted to become a work of art. Mr Goddard gave students several photographs as inspiration but asked them to be as creative as they liked.
"I wanted to allow students to be creative and do something fun. With social activities limited and a Netflix-heavy diet in terms of entertainment – an Art Olympics was conceived of to challenge students artistically, he said."
With points awarded for originality, quality of construction and ingenuity winning students were awarded either a gold, silver or bronze award. However, Mr Goddard and the other Art teachers that the honour of choosing the winners should be given to Shrewsbury’s Art Scholars, who themselves have been focusing on organising online exhibitions in place of live events. Their keen eye for detail determined which students were crowned 'Art Olympic Champions'.
Speaking about the Bronze winner, Tarm in 7KS, Art Scholar Pete lauded the use of dynamic composition and readily-made materials for his submission, 'Freedom'.
"The choice of keeping the work monochrome leaves space for the observer to fill the artwork with their own implications. All of this together creates a simple yet elegant and meaningful artwork."
Art Scholar Neat had the tough task of announcing the silver and gold awards. Although it was a tough choice, silver went to Peppe in 9SJ who created a mixed media sculpture in the form of a snail, and was commended for his minimalistic and natural approach to the task.
"The slim body of the snail is my favourite part. I thought the rock placed underneath is a perfect choice; it balances the piece both in terms of letting the snail stands and adding in an organic form, preventing the piece from looking too stiff," Neat said.
The Gold prize was awarded to Sophie in 9SH whose intricate flower made from the shells of sunflower seeds was deemed to fill the brief and express the artists' creativity the best.
"It is very well constructed, and I wouldn't be able to tell from the distance that this is made by something as cheap as sunflower seeds! I love how the back of the seeds are painted gold, adding to its luxurious looks", Neat enthused.
Overall, Mr Goddard and the Art Department were really pleased with the response, commitment and creativity shown by the young artists, and are hoping to re-run the competition next year in a live classroom environment.