Arts Bursary Competition

Arts Bursary Competition

2 Jun 2017 - 16:35 BY Shrewsbury DFAS

  • Young Arts

Shrewsbury Decorative & Fine Arts Society (SDFAS) have commemorated Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday by funding an Arts Bursary. The Bursary was available to anyone under the age of 28 who had been educated at a secondary school within a 20-mile radius of Shrewsbury. The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire and his wife, Sir Algernon and Lady Heber-Percy, had generously hosted a dinner for the Society in May 2016 and the £2000 for the Arts Bursary was raised through contributions from guests on this occasion. Sixteen applications were received. The standard was outstanding and the panel had a real struggle to choose just three finalists who then came to Shrewsbury for an interview. The finalists were 18 year old Callum Blees a former pupil at Shrewsbury College; Ella Walker aged 23 years, educated at Ellesmere College; and Bethan Lloyd aged 23 who had attended Thomas Adams School, Wem.

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the SDFAS Queen's 90th Birthday Arts Bursary is metal sculptor, Callum Blees. His tutor at Shrewsbury College, said: “One of his greatest strengths lies in his imagination and his curiosity to research extensively the work of others to enrich his understanding of the potential of certain materials and techniques in new innovative ways”.

After completing his course Callum took a year out to develop his skills further, taking the time to study a part-time welding course and take part in different work experience opportunities. Callum gained experience working in Gofannon Forge in Rhayader in mid-Wales where bespoke metalwork is produced through traditional and contemporary processes. Here he showed real initiative and flare. In September 2018 Callum will be taking up a place at Hertfordshire University to study Model Design (Character & Creative Effects). He is a young man with an astonishing talent and a great future ahead of him. He has a creative mind and thinks big! In due course Callum will be reporting back to the Society on how he has benefited from this award.

Runner-up, Ella Walker, is a graduate of Glasgow College of Art where she studied painting and print making and has received commissions for large scale murals from The Briggait in Glasgow and the Crownpoint Gallery, Bridgeton. She is now hoping to develop her career by studying Italian culture, language and art in Florence, including a short course in Fresco painting at the Bon Fresco Workshop.

The second runner-up, Bethan Lloyd, is a graduate in Costume Interpretation from the Wimbledon College of Art and is currently developing her tailoring skills as a tailor at Cosprop, one of the leading international costumiers within the film, theatre and television industries. Ella and Bethan are very talented and the panel is confident that they will both succeed in their chosen careers. Shrewsbury Decorative & Fine Arts Society would like to thank all those who applied for this Bursary and wish them well for the future.

Many congratulations to all our finalists. We look forward to hearing about their future successes!


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