Surfing a Great Wave of Creativity

…..The Picker Pals Art Competition received almost 900 separate entries!

By Gary Jones

This year’s Picker Pals Art Competition was a resounding success, with schools all over Ireland choosing to give over their precious time to create some truly stunning and impactful art.

Almost 900 separate submissions were received on a wide range of themes, with many entries being made from reused and found materials.  The competition was open to all participating schools, with separate categories for junior, senior and special classes.

The overall winner came from St. Catherine’s Special School in Newcastle, Co. Wicklow.  Their artwork is a superbly creative collage that takes inspiration from the famous Japanese artwork, “The Great Wave”.  The picture is beautifully composed with eye-catching colours and even includes a nod to the children’s community in Co. Wicklow, as The Great Sugarloaf Mountain stands in for Japan’s famous Mt. Fuji! 

It packs an environmental punch with its message too, as the huge wave of plastic is all too apt for describing the problems the oceans are facing with millions of tonnes of garbage being dumped into them every year.  Thankfully, the Picker Pals of St. Catherine’s are riding that wave on their mission to clean up the sea, so we couldn’t be happier to award them with the overall prize of a customised Picker Pals wall mural for their school.

Watch this space for a picture of the mural when it’s completed as soon as the weather improves!

Our other two category winners both came from Co. Mayo and will receive fun visits from the Picker Pals team, in addition to featuring in Picker Pals TV as their prizes.

The Junior category was won by the 1st & 2nd class students of Bohola National School, who worked in small groups to produce some beautifully vibrant art with a strong Picker Pals theme!  Their winning entry puts Craig the Crab centre stage among lots of other Picker Pals characters in a piece titled, “We’re All Picker Pals Here” 

The Senior Category was won by 3rd & 4th class in Cong National School, who all collaborated to transform an old piece of plywood into an eye-catching landscape that tells the story of how the Picker Pals work together to take care of the environment.

Success for us in Picker Pals will be achieved by inspiring a new generation of environmentally-aware young people.  We know that success is dependent on making the programme worthwhile and appealing to teachers, students and their families, so we provide a wide range of ways for schools to engage with us.  The art competition is just one strand of this approach, as it re-enforces our core message of picking up litter to make the world better!

After this fantastic competition, we’re more inspired than ever to keep on spreading our message! 

We are always grateful for the ongoing support we receive from The Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications, Local Authorities, BMW Ireland, Sky & E-Shop World……We couldn’t run the programme without them! 

Find out more about our Picker Pals Programme HERE