SMFA sponsors Art Awards for Young Artists



The School of Music & Fine Art was one of the 2015 sponsors of the annual John Downton Awards for Young Artists. Established in 2000, the awards commemorate John Downton, the celebrated Kent artist, poet and philosopher, who was born in Erith in 1906.

This annual exhibition encourages and celebrates the diverse talent of a new generation of artists. Each year, students from schools and colleges across Kent are invited to participate in the awards, giving young artists aged 11-18 the opportunity to exhibit their work, possibly for the first time in their careers. The 2015 John Downton Awards attracted record numbers of submissions which resulted in a stunning exhibition of artistic talent. Of the 376 students from 36 schools and colleges that entered the competition, 90 artworks were been selected for the exhibition.

Competition entries, including photographs, mixed media and paintings, are judged by a panel of artists and art educators to select winners in a number of categories according to age and media, and the John Downton Trophy was awarded for the best overall school submission, with the awards presented on Wednesday 11 November.

Admission is free to the exhibition, which runs until Wednesday 2 December, at the County Gallery, Sessions House, County Hall.  The gallery is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Partners in the project included University of Kent, Kent County Council, UCA, and Turner Contemporary.

More information about John Downton can be found at (,

More information about the awards can be found at