Schools Project

We at the IAF, Sevenoaks feel that art is an important part of education, (this event is organised by artists) and this competition gives students the opportunity to exhibit alongside professionals.

In 2017 the Schools’ Competition, as part of the Art Fair, moves to a new venue, ‘The New Beacon Prep School’ in Sevenoaks, which will give us an opportunity to show more entries in the larger exhibition area dedicated to this project.

IAFS  invites schools to submit pieces of artwork chosen by the Art Department from students in the age range 12 – 15 & 16 – 18 years, to be submitted to a panel of judges for selection to be included in the International Art Fair in Sevenoaks 1st – 4th June 2017 (20 pieces in total).

2017 is the 4th year of the competition. There is no brief as to subject /theme but students are being asked to produce an original piece of artwork on A4.

IAFS recognises the importance of art in schools and this competition gives students an opportunity to show their work alongside professional artists and may help them to decide if they feel they have a future in art in some way. Each year there have also been sales of artwork from the competition. It also gives galleries showing with us the opportunity to look at artists of the future.

Work can be painting, sculpture, ceramic or mixed media – NO Photography or Giclee prints.

Medium:- Any medium – acrylic, watercolour, oil, gouache, pencil, crayon, any metal, wood, ceramic, glass

The information for 2017 goes out to schools from Autumn 2016.  Contact

2017 Judges: Anthony Broad from Claremont Modern Art Gallery in Sevenoaks, Louise Giblin MA ARBS Body Cast sculptor, Sarah Sturt – editor of Kent Life Magazine, Nick Hebditch – artist, with a representative from the competition sponsor.


Eden Underwood receives his award from Councillor David Neve (Mayor of Tunbridge Wells) and Mr Gilbert Green from Thomson Snell & Passmore.

The 2016 competition, which had a prize giving at the Art Fair in TW at the Assembly Halls, saw Eden Underwood age 16 from The Skinners School in Tunbridge Wells win the competition for his sculpture, “London, Past, Present and/or Future”.

2016 Judges were Gilbert Green of Thomson Snell &  Passmore,  Andrew Fairfax from the Fairfax Gallery, on The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, Louise Giblin MA FRBS, Body Cast Sculptor, Jeremy O’Keeffe ARPS – photographer, Andrew James RP, President of RTWAS and Susan Beumée, Director from the SEEART Gallery on The Pantiles (renamed  Beumée Contemporary Fine Art).
 Eden took home the Thomson Snell & Passmore Award designed and made by TWIAF’s Guy Portelli  together with a set of oil colours kindly given by Michael Harding Oil  Colours. Eden will also have the opportunity to have some space to show work at the Art Fair in 2017 as part of his prize. Runners up were Anja Huddart age 15 from Walthamstow Hall School in Sevenoaks and Rosie Alderton age 17 from Sevenoaks School,  both of whom received a set of oil colours from Michael Harding.

Quotes from 2016

 “I was delighted to see the judges reward such an original piece as that by Eden. Coming at the time of the EU Referendum, his work on London, Past,  Present and/or Future seemed entirely apposite as well, and almost prescient! In a competition of an extraordinarily high standard, Eden’s award is a significant achievement: he is a talented artist.”

Ed Wesson, Head of The Skinners School.


Brilliant! An excellent choice! The sculpture is captivating and highlights the importance of tools that give us the ability to practice our chosen craft.

Karyn Harding – Michael Harding Oil Colours – sponsor


‘It’s a relatively difficult thing to make a collection of work come together coherently and fuse in a meaningful way. But there’s nothing that makes a disparate range of work crystallise better than a good competition, none more so than the IAF schools competition. Each participant begins by submitting their best purpose made work, but it’s only when filtered through the process of judging that the venture can be appreciated to its fullest. Hundreds become a few dozen and one sees the irresistible power of inspired youthful vision and gifted passion.’ Andrew James RP ( Judge)


“TWIAF is locally unparalleled in giving students the opportunity to exhibit work alongside internationally acclaimed artists. The impact on those selected is far reaching. ” Leo Hillier, Head of Art The Skinners School, Tunbridge Wells.


It was most encouraging not to see use of digital technology in the Schools Competition. Some pupils were inspired to step away from the usual “standard recipe solutions ” and present the judges with something different, thought provoking, inspiring and creative. I hope more Schools enter in 2017. Schools need to take a more active involvement role in this and other similar competitions. Jeremy O’Keeffe ARPS (Judge)


I was genuinely impressed by the standard of work from all the students. It is exciting to see such strong talent coming through, inspired by great art departments in local schools. Andrew Fairfax Scrutton , Director, Fairfax Gallery (Judge)


Thomson Snell & Passmore is a proud sponsor of the schools award as we value the opportunity it provides to nurture young talent. The art fair is the ideal platform for budding artists to display their work and to be recognised for their vision, creativity and technique.  TS&P Sponsor

2015 Winner – Susannah Walter, Walthamstow Hall School

“It is a real honour to have won the TWIAF schools competition! It has been the most fantastic opportunity and it has really boosted my confidence to be recognised by this organisation that supports and encourages young artists.

 As a direct result of winning I have been asked to do a commissioned painting – thanks to the whole TWIAF team!”

2015 Winning School – Mrs C Hughes, Walthamstow Hall School

“I was delighted that our department’s hard work and the talents of Susannah Walter were recognised; I was particularly thrilled for Susannah as she was going onto study a degree in the arts – she had no idea that I had entered her painting until it was selected for exhibition. The positive feedback and comments from the judges and visitors was great, particularly because these were all people involved in art education and the art world.
We have not entered work before and feel inspired to do so again.”

2014 Winner – Florence Moore, Hillview School.

“Having the opportunity to be involved in the TWIAF was an amazing experience. It opened my eyes to the world of commercial art and I feel so encouraged by the recognition and support that I was shown. Being selected for the Best New Artist award and actually winning is still a really surreal concept to me! I feel so grateful to everyone for the chance to prove myself.”

2014 Wining School – Cavan Pledge, Curriculum Leader for Art, Design and Technology, Hillview School

“All the students whose work was exhibited took friends and family along to the TWIAF exhibition. This was an excellent opportunity for students not only to see their own work exhibited alongside professional artists but it provided a chance to meet with artists and gallery owners and find out about the commercial art world. The Art Fair visitors were highly complementary about the students work and the student artists said that they felt proud and really enjoyed the experience”.

If your school has not received the details please contact us at