ARTISTS in Halesowen and Cradley have two weeks left to enter this year’s Dawn Jones Art Prize, which invites people with experience of mental health to create artwork.
Entrants must submit their work by Monday, September 1, for a chance to win one of two £100 prizes, plus exhibition time in Walsall and Dudley.
Now in its ninth year, the competition was set up by Maureen Jones in memory of her daughter, Dawn Jones, who tragically committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 25 following a long battle with depression.
Gary Graham, chief executive of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting this competition, which we hope will raise awareness and reduce the stigma that is often associated with mental health.
“We know that art can be therapeutic for many people, and we’d like to encourage anyone with an interest in art – whether as a beginner or as someone more experienced – to get involved and enter our competition.”
Dawn’s mother, Maureen Jones, who set up the competition nine years ago, added: “It has been very rewarding to hear so many people say things like they had given up art when they were ill, but that the Dawn Jones Art Prize had inspired them to start getting involved in artwork again.”
Previously, the competition was run by Walsall Service User Empowerment (SUE).
This is the first year the competition has been run by Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, which means residents across both Dudley and Walsall boroughs can take part.
Twelve shortlisted entries will be exhibited in September for two weeks at The Crossing at St. Paul’s in Walsall and two weeks at INSIGHT Carers Café in Dudley.
Two winning entries will also be exhibited long-term in a public building.
Entries are invited from anyone with close experience of mental ill-health, whether that’s personal experience of mental health problems, caring for someone with mental health problems or working in mental health.
Full competition guidelines can be found at www.dwmh.nhs.uk/artprize.