Last year's Junior Painter winners. © Sightsavers/Kerstin Hecker
World peace, your football club winning the FA Cup, a summer where it doesn't rain all the time, or even a bike that can fly… Whatever sight you would most like to see, if you're under 11 years old then you could win a prize for painting it.
The blindness charity Sightsavers International has launched its Junior Painter of the Year Awards for 2008 with the theme 'The sight I would most like to see', inviting primary school aged children to pick up a paintbrush and use their imagination. The theme has been chosen to highlight how precious sight is, and encourage children to reflect on what it might mean not to have it.
There are three entry categories: 4-7 years, 8-9 years and 10-11 years. One winner from each category will be picked from a list of regional winners to enjoy a fun-packed day out in London with their teacher. They will attend an awards ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts, where their paintings will take pride of place in an exhibition of the best from the competition.
The winners' schools will also receive a visit from an experienced artist to lead a session for aspiring young painters.
"When you are drawing the 'Sight I would most like to see', it may be something that you remember from the past or it might be something that you want to see in the future," said children's illustrator Quentin Blake CBE, who is supporting the Awards.
"Don't worry if you think of something that can't really exist as long as you make a wonderful picture of it!"
Contact Sightsavers schools team on 01444 446727 for a free awards pack, or go to www.sightsavers.org/schools. Entries must be received by September 12 2008.
Photography competition judge Graeme Le Saux. © Sightsavers/Jenny Matthews
Sightsavers is also launching a new photography competition for students aged 11-18, called i:click.
The theme for this competition is photos that evoke the senses – from freshly cut grass to dancing to a tune on an i-pod.
Three winners will receive an SLR camera and have their work exhibited at the.gallery@oxo on London's South Bank in October. Their schools will get a teaching session from a professional photographer. Categories are 11-14 years, 14-16 and 16-18.
Footballer and keen (but modest) photographer Graeme Le Saux is leading the judging panel. "I wouldn't say I'm any good at photography, but I've always been interested in the story a picture can tell," he said. "I love the fact that you can be creative when taking pictures."
"From my point of view it's the composition that's important as well as the subject – it's all about balance."
Find out more at www.sightsavers.org/schools or call 01444 446727 for an entry pack. Deadline for entries is September 12 2008.
Sightsavers works in more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, to cure and prevent blindness and to improve life for those who are irreversibly blind. While 45 million people in the world are blind, in 75 per cent of cases blindness can be prevented or cured.