Artist submits drawing of Whittlesey Straw Bear festival for National Open Art competition

Alan Parker Director of Art's painting for the this year's National Open Art competition is of the W

Alan Parker Director of Art's painting for the this year's National Open Art competition is of the Whittlesey Straw Bear festival. - Credit: Archant

An artist has decided to capture a scene from one of Fenland’s most famous events for his entry to the country’s biggest open art competition.

Alan Parker, who is director of art at The Leonardo Centre, Uppingham School, has submitted a picture of the Whittlesey Straw Bear festival for the National Open Art competition.

Before he became director of art, he worked as a policeman and steelworker, and was a fellow at Trinity College.

He said: “The Straw Bear festival is one of the most English things I can think of, and also one of the most East of England things. It is full of life and vitality and energy and there is nothing else like it.

“The National Open Art comp is growing in status – it is a really big deal now and the prize money is big, the quality is good and I think and hope it will soon eclipse the generally discredited Turner prize.”


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This year’s competition has attracted 3,650 entries, which have been whittled down to 122.

These paintings which will go on show at London’s Somerset House from September 18 to October 25. The winners will share a prize fund of £60,000.

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