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Oliver and Charlie to be exhibited in the Royal Academy summer exhibition

Engaging with art is essential to the human experience, and almost as soon as possible, children communicate through artistic expression. Among adults the arts contribute to the health of our civil society. Yet, while we recognise art’s transformative impact, it’s place in education has become increasingly tenuous. Oswestry School are bucking that trend and actively encourage young people to discover the joys of the creative arts.

Brothers Oliver (13) and Charlie Miller (11), in First and Second Form, are two young gifted artists who are making the most of their talents.

At the beginning of the year in January the boys received First Prize Awards in the Primary and Secondary School Halls art competition. In its third year, the Halls Young Artist Competition attracted a high number of entries form schools across the region. Faced with an undisputed range of talent, the judge, James Forster – the Paintings expert at Halls Fine Art – was set a difficult task in selecting the first, second and third prizes for both the Primary and Secondary School categories.

The Primary School First Prize was awarded to Charlie for The Old Bedroom Chair. James Forster commented, “The composition of this piece is very bold and the printing skills of the artist are much in evidence. The simplicity of design and use of the eggplant leaves to soften the piece shows great confidence.”

The Old Bedrooom Chair web

The Secondary School First Prize was awarded to older brother Oliver for Nice Old Chairs Need A Nice Old Rug. Here James commented, “This is a talented piece which has clearly involved a great deal of research, with chairs throughout history depicted. A vibrant piece which cleverly uses the rugs as a good foil for the chairs.”

Nice Old Chairs Need A Nice Old Rug web

Both boys were given art materials and a Weston Park family annual pass along with their certificates. The School has also received £350 prize money for the Faculty of Art.

By April Charlie had won another art competition. After winning prizes for several years in the Hereford College of Arts 'Young Artist Competition' this year he won First Prize with his bird paintings. Charlie received £50 and Oswestry School received a £100 cheque. Charlie also won third prize for his photography, winning another £20. Six of his bird paintings will be exhibited for several weeks in an exhibition.

Charlie MIller with his artwork for the Heeford College of Art competition web

Finally, over the summer Oliver and Charlie will be having their work framed and hung in the Royal Academy summer exhibition. Both boys did extremely well as only 139 pieces, from up to age 19, were selected from a huge 6,200 entries.

Another of Charlie’s portraits was also chosen as part of the Academy’s online exhibition and also one of Oliver’s other pieces, as part of the final 700 selected pieces. These can be viewed at . Oliver’s is in the section called ‘Rollercoaster Land’ and Charlie’s is in the section called ‘A figure in space’.

Head of Art and Design, Mr Neil Pottinger, comments, “Pupils deserve a curriculum that prepares then to thrive in the 21st century, and Oswestry School is determined to support children who might pursue a career in the creative industries. Both Oliver and Charlie are making the very most of their talent and we encourage them to enjoy a high-quality arts education. The best schools in the country combine cultural education as a complement to excellence in core academic subjects. Well done boys, we look forward to watching your talents flourish.”

Members of the public can vote for Oliver and Charlie in the people’s choice award:

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Oliver MIller Fillina a Room With Lovely Old Things