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Windsor Festival Schools' Programme London Exhibition

Young Windsor artists to exhibit their work on the commercial stage in London

The winners of the Schools ’Programme, a competition held by Windsor Festival, a registered charity established by Yehudi Menuhin in 1969, have the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their artwork exhibited at the offices of global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills in the City of London.

The Schools ’Programme is an initiative that seeks to foster and encourage emerging artistic talent in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. Windsor Festival invited students aged between 14 and 17 years to participate across nine categories including Art (Painting, Drawing, Textiles, Photography and Sculpture), Music Composition (Instrumental and Vocal) and Creative Writing (Poetry and Prose).

Following a year without the necessary funding to operate, the Schools ’Programme was re-launched in 2014 with the support of a new Title Sponsor, ComXo. Their involvement and encouragement has allowed this creative project to blossom, whilst building on the strong foundation established during the last decade.

A panel of prominent judges, including Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, Essie Fox, author of The Somnambulist and Richard Pinel, Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, met in September 2014 to choose the winners and commended of each category from the 295 entrants.

Certificates and prize money were presented to the young talent by Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE, Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, and Ian Gatt QC, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, during a prize giving ceremony at the end of last year in Windsor Castle. Following the ceremony the students were treated to a private tour of the Royal Library where they had the opportunity to view some world famous Leonardo Da Vinci and Holbein artwork and speak to some of the curators of the library.

Ian Gatt, Head of Advocacy at Herbert Smith Freehills, oversees art in the firm's London office. In 2013 he initiated a Graduate Art Competition which has now drawn nationwide interest and unearthed wonderful new talent from the country's art schools.

Through his connection with ComXo, who provide telephone answering services to Herbert Smith Freehills, Ian Gatt became involved with the Windsor Festival School’s Programme in 2014. Impressed by the extremely high standard of work he invited the winners and commended entrants to exhibit their art on the commercial stage in London, in front of clients and guests visiting the firm’s offices.

The artwork is now on display, curated by Windsor’s premier contemporary art gallery, The Gallery at Ice, until the beginning of May.

A reception will be held at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Exchange Square, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EG on the evening of 20 April 2015 at 6 pm, and will feature a private view of the prize-winning artworks from the creative competition and an address at 7pm by Desmond Shawe-Taylor. The evening will be attended by the President of Windsor Festival, Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE, as well as other judges, the young artists, their parents and teachers.

Martin Denny, Director of Windsor Festival says‘ We are proud to continue to be able to offer young people opportunities to exhibit and share their work within public and commercial platforms, at the same time looking to provide them with a chance to see where their talents and dedication might take them as they begin to make choices about their education and employment futures. We are especially grateful this year to both ComXo and Herbert Smith Freehills for enabling the winners to benefit from this additional high profile exhibition.’

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