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SPARK* ART COMPETITION: Summer in York 100 years later


15+ category: Lowri Clarke

under 15 category: Emily Saunders

Finalists selected for the masterclass with one of our resident artists:


Aida Buljkic, Nic Fife, Emmie Schofield, Isabel Bullón, Rosie Bamber

under 15

Martin Legg, Olive Keady, Fred Keady, Ursula Harvey, Fynn Lundberg, Florence Ibson



Imagine summer in York in 100 years – what would it look like? With the ongoing climate crisis, what future challenges do you envision our city to face? What do you think urban life will be like? Is the outlook pessimistic, maybe even apocalyptic, or is there hope?

Air pollution, biodiversity loss, disease, extreme weather events - these are only some of many harmful impacts of the changing climate that we are already experiencing. We believe today’s cities play a crucial role in driving social change by setting practices and policies to adapt to the environmental challenges and improve our lives in urban areas. 

We are inviting all York residents to create artworks that address the theme of climate change and its impact on our city. Through the competition, we want to provide a platform for the exchange of reflections and ideas and open a discussion about the future of York. We believe big change starts with small steps and this contest could be one of them, inspiring us all to make meaningful lifestyle changes to build a better future for all of us.

The competition also aims to showcase local artistic talent and encourage creative networking.

Important Dates

  • Upload your artwork: from 1st July 2023 to 20 August 2023 inclusive
  • 20 Finalists selected and contacted via email by the end of August 2023. You will be asked to provide us with your original artwork to be featured in the finalists exhibition – please submit it physically to us by the beginning of September 2023.
  • Results announcement: winners will be notified by email, and results will be announced on our social media by 3rd September 2023.
  • The artworks of the 20 finalists will be put on display in an exhibition held in our SHOW space at the beginning of September.

Artwork Specifications

  • Must be original works relevant to the theme of the competition and submitted by participants on an individual basis.
  • Works cannot be longer than 70cm on any side.
  • Each participant may submit only one artwork into either of the two age categories: under 15 or 15+.
  • All visual 2D art mediums are welcome, such as painting, drawing, mixed media, printmaking and digital art.
  • Entrants are required to submit up to three images of their work, from different angles and distances, accompanied by a short description of themselves and their submission (maximum 100 words). The images should be jpeg or png files of good quality and medium to high resolution. We recommend between 960 and about 3000 pixels width. As a guideline file sizes will probably be up to about 2Mb (maximum per image 4Mb).
  • No entry fee.
  • Eligibility: Open to York residents of all ages and levels of experience.


  • 20 Finalists: your artwork will participate in an exhibition held in our SHOW space at the beginning of September.
  • 10 shortlisted artists (5 from each age category) will be offered a place on an art masterclass given by one of our resident artists.
  • Prize for 15+ age category: York Gift Card topped up with £100 sponsored by the York BID, 1 Day York Pass sponsored by Visit York, £50 Spark Gift Voucher, set of finest quality handmade brushes sponsored by the Rosemary and Co
  • Prize for under 15 age category: Gift Card topped up with £100 for professional art supplies sponsored by Fred Aldous Ltd, 1 Day York Pass sponsored by Visit York, £50 Spark Gift Voucher, set of finest quality handmade brushes sponsored by the Rosemary and Co

Judging Panel

Submissions will be judged by an expert panel composed of our resident MAKE studio artists: Dominic Brooks, Leon François Dumont, Jake Moore, Lucy Topham, and Kai West.

Terms & Conditions

  • Employees of Spark (''the Organiser'') and/ or its affiliates, are not eligible to participate in the competition.
  • All entries must be original, and submitted on an individual basis. An entry will be disqualified if the participant is considered by the Organiser to have committed plagiarism, infringement of copyrights and/or violation of any laws.
  • Any entries that the Organiser considers, in its sole and absolute discretion, to contain material that is dangerous, vulgar, offensive, indecent, obscene, illegal, racist, pornographic, violent, defamatory, disparaging, inappropriate, controversial or that promotes political interests will be disqualified.
  • Entry into the competition is at the participant’s sole risk. The Organiser does not accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, costs, expenses or claims suffered by participants or any third parties arising out of or in connection with the competition and/or accepting a prize.
  • No entry fee is required. 
  • The results of the competition are subject to the final decision of the panel of judges. No objections by participants will be entertained.
  • The result of the competition will be announced by 3rd September 2023 and the Organiser will notify the winners by email via the email address provided by the participant at the point of entry. Participants must provide a valid email address as this is the sole channel for the Organiser to contact the participants. Participants should check their email inbox (including the junk and spam mail folders).
  • The Organiser and their affiliates reserve the right to copy, publicise, reproduce or make use of the submitted works in full or in part, including and limited to promotion, publicity, marketing, exhibition, and education purposes, without the consent of the participants or payment of fees of any kind, otherwise copyright remains with the artist.
  • Participants agree that their works may be put on display in an exhibition for public viewing, together with their names and the short description provided without any fee being payable. Participants also agree to be photographed for marketing purposes.
  • The Organiser reserves the right to interpret and amend the rules, and the Terms and Conditions of the competition, without prior notice.
  • Upon submission of entries, participants agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions of the competition.
  • All information collected by the Organiser is for the purpose of the competition only, including but not limited to, contacting participants and distributing prizes. 
  • The Organiser accepts no responsibility for system errors or other issues that may result in disruption to, delay or failure in receiving entries and/or sending notifications or prizes to winners.