Competition: Children are asked 'What is art?'

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

A UK-wide competition has been launched asking all primary school children: "What is art?"

The competition, by Artis, challenges primary school children aged from four-years-old to explore what art is, encouraging them to move beyond the idea that art is just a picture or painting on the wall.

The competition aims to stretch children's imaginations, spark discussions inside and outside the classroom, and help children grapple with what art means to them.

The competition is supported with a detailed teaching resource that uses internationally renowned artist Do Ho Suh's sculpture Toilet – pictured – as a stimulus. This resource includes performing arts activities (drama, dance, music) for key stages 1 and 2, and is designed to support class teachers in facilitating thinking around this question. The resource also links to the core curricula of English, maths and science.

The competition is open to all primary schools and the competition entry is simply to answer the question "What is art?" in 10 words, starting "Art is…".

Entries can be accompanied by an image, sound file or movie, but this is not a requirement. Multiple entries from each school are welcome. Entries will be accepted from classes and individual children.

The deadline for entries is March 27 and the winner will be announced in April. You can download the teaching resource for free and find entry details at

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