One of the key aims of The Arts Society is to provide children and young people with exciting opportunities to become involved in creative arts activities. Over the years Gade Valley has conducted a wide range of Young Arts Projects, such as funding a visit for local primary school children to the National Gallery, paying a professional artist to help members of a local youth group decorate their premises, providing a grant to help establish an orchestra within the borough and supporting local art competitions for children and young adults. Such projects can help children to start developing a lasting enthusiasm for the arts.


2018 Dacorum Young Artists Competition
Most Successful Yet

The 4th year of the Dacorum Young Artists Competition proved to be the most successful yet with entries from 22 Dacorum primary schools. Over 500 pieces of creative art were exhibited at Astley Cooper School, Hemel Hempstead on Saturday 12th May and the Exhibition was crowded with visitors admiring the extraordinary talents of Dacorum’s 9 and 10 year olds.

Prizes and trophies were presented by the Mayor of Dacorum, Councillor David Collins and local MP and long-time supporter of the event, Sir Mike Penning. First placed entry came from Aliyan Shayeb from Lockers Park School, second placed was Charlie Medler from Long Marston C. of E. Primary School and third prize was awarded to Lia O’Hara West from St Thomas More School. Best in School Awards were also given to pupils from Belswains Primary, Berkhamsted Prep, Bishop Wood Junior, Bridgewater Primary, Chambersbury Primary, Chaulden Junior School, Dundale Primary, Galley Hill Primary, Great Gaddesden Primary, Haywood Grove, Hobbs Hill Wood Primary, Maple Grove Primary, Pixies Hill Primary, Potten End Primary, St Cuthbert Maine, The Collett, The Reddings Primary, Thomas Coram and Woodfield School. All the prize winning entries are being displayed at a special Exhibition at the Open Door Gallery, Berkhamsted from May 22nd -June 2nd.

Sir Mike Penning who is a strong and vocal advocate of the value of art in education said ‘I was incredibly impressed by the quality and range of art by Dacorum’s young people. What a great talent we have and what a thoroughly enjoyable exhibition’.

In her summary of how the judges had reached their difficult decisions, one of the three judges, Jan Monro revealed that the criteria they were looking for included ‘technical ability in drawing and painting, use of colour, line, tone, pattern, composition and arrangement, originality, conveying a feeling or idea to the viewer, observation.’

 The Exhibition has been gradually building its momentum since being launched in 2015. Arts Society Gade Valley is one of the four organising organisation which include Rotary Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne, Rotary Club of Hemel Hempstead and Ashridge DFAS.  Plans are already being made for the 5th DYA Competition in May 2019.  


Image: 1st prize painting of the 2018 Dacorum Young Artists' Competition held at Astley Cooper School.