Creative Classrooms: Ulster Museum and Ey Launch Art Prize for Primary Schools

Ulster Museum, in partnership with EY, has introduced the Creative Classroom Award, to inspire creativity and artistic expression among primary school students across Northern Ireland.
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The new, free-to-enter art prize for primary school-age children across Northern Ireland, has been launched to coincide with a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition coming to Ulster Museum in May called ‘National Treasures: Caravaggio in Belfast’. Classrooms are invited to submit entries – under the theme of ‘Still Life’ - that could be selected to go on display at the museum as the prize. Entries are open until May 15 and winning classes will also win an expenses-paid trip to the Ulster Museum, to see their artwork on display and the exhibition that inspired it.

The Creative Classrooms competition is part of EY Northern Ireland’s sponsorship of the ‘Caravaggio in Belfast’ exhibition opening at the Ulster Museum on May 10 and will see two Caravaggio paintings - which have rarely been seen together since the 17th century – reunited and on display. The Supper at Emmaus is loaned to the Ulster Museum by the National Gallery in London as part of its National Treasures project celebrating its Bicentenary, whilst the Jesuit Community in Dublin, with the support of the National Gallery of Ireland, have loaned The Taking of Christ.

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Louise Rice, Education Manager at National Museums NI, discussed the power of art education. She said: “The importance of making time for creative activity in the classroom cannot be understated. We hope to encourage teachers and their pupils to engage in drawing, making and painting together through the Creative Classroom Award, which is fundamentally about encouraging young children to explore their creativity and engage with art in meaningful ways. This exciting partnership with EY will help support the next generation of creatives, and we look forward to seeing the imaginative submissions from schools across Northern Ireland.”

L-R: Pauline Poots, EY; Kathryn Thomson, NMNI; Rob Heron, EY; Tim Cush, EY; and Brona Moffett, NMNIL-R: Pauline Poots, EY; Kathryn Thomson, NMNI; Rob Heron, EY; Tim Cush, EY; and Brona Moffett, NMNI
L-R: Pauline Poots, EY; Kathryn Thomson, NMNI; Rob Heron, EY; Tim Cush, EY; and Brona Moffett, NMNI

Commenting on the launch of the Creative Classrooms competition, EY Northern Ireland Managing Partner Rob Heron said, “At EY, our support for the arts is a part of our commitment to fostering a culture of creativity and innovation within our communities, creating long-term value for all. We are really excited to work alongside the Ulster Museum to give primary school students across Northern Ireland the opportunity to explore their potential and creativity, and see their artworks hanging in the museum, as well as the exhibition that inspired it.

“We wish all participants and schools the very best of luck with the competition and look forward to what I know will be a host of fantastic entries.”

Winners of the Creative Classroom Award will be announced on May 24 with winning artworks displayed in Discover Art at Ulster Museum from June 4 to September 1. For more information on how to participate in the Creative Classroom Award, including submission guidelines and eligibility criteria, please visit