Announcing The Big Draw Festival 2018 Award Winners!

#BDFAwards #TheBigDraw #Play18

The Big Draw is thrilled to announce the winners of the international Big Draw Festival Awards 2018/19. The Big Draw Award winners have been selected by a distinguished jury from a shortlist of projects that took place as part of Big Draw Festival 2018 celebrating ‘Play’. Every year, The Big Draw Festival Awards celebrate drawing and creativity without borders.

Organisers, including schools, libraries, museums, artists, local councils and community centres thrilled our panel of judges and The Big Draw team with their fun, unique and experimental approaches to the theme 'Play', giving Big Draw Festival visitors opportunities to try their hand at animation, pendulum swing drawing, Japanese drawing methods, illustration and everything in between.

The ingenuity of organisers’ events demystified the idea that 'play' isn't just for kids, opening doors to the potential of drawing for the fun of it for hundreds of thousands of participants worldwide.

More importantly than ever, with the continued decline of arts provision for all in education, The Big Draw commends all schools who demonstrate the power of drawing and creativity, not only across the curriculum, but within their communities! The staff and students of our 3 school winners this year are leading lights to show the importance and impact of a creative education.

Alongside the 6 panel selected awards, The People’s Choice Award (inaugurated in 2017) is decided entirely by public vote. From over 250 nominations received, with a massive 20% of the public vote, the 2018 People’s Choice Award winner is 24H Drawing Lab, Rome, Italy. Take a look at our People's Choice Award page for all projects to receive a nomination for their Big Draw Festival events in 2018 and how to vote for your favourite in 2019!

From applications received from all over the world, The Big Draw would like to thank everyone who applied for the awards and took part in The Big Draw Festival 2018. It was a truly dynamic year. Without further ado... 

The Winners of The Big Draw Festival Awards 2018: Play are:

Community Participatory & Libraries Award (1/2): Mercury Mall, Romford, Essex

Community Participatory & Libraries Award (2/2): Ynyshir Primary School, Wales, UK (with Workers Gallery & RCT Arts Services)

Museums & Galleries Award: Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK

Art Clubs & Societies Award: Ruskin in Wyre and the Guild of St George in partnership with Wyre Community Land Trust, Worcestershire, UK (in partnership with Tokyo arts group, Japan)

Guest Panellists' Choice Award: Strong Close Nursery School, West Yorkshire, UK

Secondary School Award: Kingsdale Foundation School, London, UK

Primary School Award (1/2): Braeburn School Gitanga Road, Nairobi, Africa

Primary School Award (2/2): St Georges Primary, Worcester, UK

People's Choice Award Winner: 24H Drawing Lab, Rome, Italy

 A few words from the Judges:

Our judges Dominic Wilcox, Marlene Wiley, Kate Mason and Liz Atkin, alongside our fantastic Big Draw Patron Narinder Sagoo, all spent a day looking through all of the brilliant 2018 Festival Awards entries in the beautiful Foster + Partners building.

“Once again for ‘PLAY 2018’ our pioneering Big Draw Festival event organisers created a cornucopia of delights! Every year I reach for words to describe their ingenuity and imagination – always wanting to not only celebrate their quality and creativity but also underline their crucial role as champions. Sometimes the simplest of statements are the most powerful – so suffice to say that it is all of you who embody our work and the reason The Big Draw exists. It is you – our determined event organisers who challenge, innovate, spark debate and create. You who inspire us and help us to articulate what we believe is an increasingly vital role in an ecology and education framework which continues to undervalue cultural learning, arts, crafts and design education and visual literacy. Thank you to you all and also our esteemed panel of Judges.

We do hope you will be joining us again in 2019 for ‘Drawn to Life: creativity and wellbeing’ or attending a Big Draw event in your locale. Watch this space as we will soon be announcing our partners for the launch of The Big Draw Festival 2019 and Awards Ceremony for 2018!”

- Kate Mason - Director, The Big Draw

"Hosting such talented, creative thinkers in our studio, has to be the highlight of my year. Thank you on behalf of The Big Draw for your valuable energy into selecting such worthy winners!"

- Narinder Sagoo - The Big Draw Patron

"It was a pleasure and honour to be a judge for the Big Draw Festival Awards. We were all inspired by the fantastic creative skills, ideas and enthusiasm for drawing seen in the entries. It was very difficult to decide on the winners and I think we wanted to give an award to everyone if we could!"

- Dominic Wilcox - artist, designer and Chief Inventor at 'Little Inventors'

"I had such a fab day as guest judge for The Big Draw at Foster + Partners with Dominic Wilcox, Marlene Wiley, Kate Mason and Big Draw Patron Narinder Sagoo. It was a day of celebrating extraordinary creativity, ingenuity and humanity which just blew me away. I am truly humbled and massively inspired!"

- Liz Atkin - artist, mental health advocate and Big Draw Ambassador


"Being asked to join the judging panel for the world’s biggest drawing festival this year has been a great honour, made even more special by the awesome and prestigious venue and wonderful panellist with whom I shared this hugely uplifting experience.

I was greatly encouraged to see that this event continues to inspire the high level of commitment, engagement and fun manifested in the entries submitted by a diverse range of creative groups, organisations and schools worldwide."

- Marlene Wylie - Creative Education Consultant and Facilitator

A few words from the Winners:

The Big Draw Festival 2018 Award winners have had some wonderful things to say about their experience taking part in the Festival, and their response to winning an Award! Below are just a few words from the winners, you can read their full statements here.












Play your part in The Big Draw Festival 2019: #DrawnToLife

Could it be you picking up a Big Draw Festival Award in 2019?* This year’s theme is ‘Drawn to Life’, focusing on the vital role of creativity for our health and wellbeing. As ‘social prescribing’ gains greater recognition as an effective tool for living a healthier and happier life, creating opportunities for accessible, fun, creative events has become more important than ever. Find out more about the benefits of organising your own event here

Ready to go? Registration for The Big Draw Festival 2019 is now open!

*Only registered organisers are eligible for both the panel selected and People's Choice Big Draw Festival Awards.