We founded the National Open Art Children’s Competition to nurture and encourage children and young people of all ages and capabilities to engage in the arts. Children are a hugely important part of National Open Art and we’re passionate about celebrating their talent, enthusiasm, and potential.  We care about the benefits creativity can have for children’s development and well-being and, ultimately, we want to help inspire the next generation of artists and creatives.


We actively engage thousands of schools around the UK and Ireland every year and welcome all children and young people from 0-14 years old to engage, look, learn, draw, paint, create and make, and share their creations with us.


"Children are often very creative by nature and there are some incredibly talented young artists out there. Anything that encourages and develops this talent is something to be celebrated, and NOA's competition provides one of the very best opportunities around."

Chris Riddell - NOA16 Children's Competition






The competition is open for entries from 1 March – 9 July 2017. It costs £5 per entry and children and young people can enter up to three works. There is also a ‘ten children’s entries for £10’ offer for schools - please email Anne, here, for details. Judging will take place throughout the Summer Holidays in August where our Children’s Judge will select the winning works. Everybody will be notified by email of the results, and the winners and top 100 children’s works will be requested to be delivered to Chichester College Brinsbury Campus, Pulborough, West Sussex between the 23 & 26 August. Instructions for sending the selected works will be included in the results email.


Prizes & Awards sponsored by The Foyle Foundation


National Open Art Children’s 1st Prize                                 iPad Air

Schools’ Art Department Bursary                                              £2,000


National Open Art Children’s 2nd Prize                                A Go-pro

Schools’ Art Department Bursary                                              £1,000


National Open Art Children’s 3rd Prize                                 £250 Art Materials Vouchers

Schools’ Art Department Bursary                                              £500



Enter here | Subscribe for updates here | Download a printable poster here





This year, with new friends, partnerships, interest in the competition and gut determination, we have worked hard to expand the opportunities we have to offer to children, their families, and schools.


As before, we will be taking the top ten* children's artworks to be hung in the 21st National Open Art Exhibition at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, in London this Autumn from 16 – 26 November, where the Children’s Award Ceremony will take place and NOA & guests will award the top prizes in conjunction with the bursaries for school’s art departments.


NEW this year!


NOA are to host the first ever National Open Art Children’s Exhibition. A big group exhibition of the top 100 children’s artworks will be celebrated at the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, this December 2017; at the same time the finalists of the 21st National Open Art Competition will be exhibited in the internationally critically acclaimed Pallant House Gallery, also in Chichester.


*The NOA Children’s Competition Winner, 2nd & 3rd Prize Winners, and seven Highly Commended from each age group: Under 6 years, 6-10 years and 11-14 years.

Please note: In the event of a home-schooled child winning, the money will be awarded to a local school or children's art therapy charity of your choice.



Enter here | Subscribe for updates here | Download a printable poster here



Spring 2017 Announcement - NOA Partner Explore Learning

We are proud to announce that the National Open Art Children’s Competition is partnering with Explore Learning, founders of the annual National Young Writers Awards (NYWA); the UK’s longest-running writing competition for children, and the National Young Mathematicians Awards.


With an extraordinary synergy between us, we are looking forward to supporting each other’s enterprises in continuing to provide for, encourage and support children on their journeys through education in all its forms.


The National Young Writers Awards are currently welcoming stories from children aged 4 – 14. With guest judge Steve Backshall, a family trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 worth of books for their school presented by Steve, there’s a lot to be excited about!

Each year, a new theme is created and this year’s theme is ‘The Future’. Set in one thousand years time, children are transported to the year 3017 where lots of things have changed. The NYWA will be looking for the best stories and have suggested that the writers should consider things like new buildings, new technology, and fancy new transport!


But you must hurry! Children can enter their short stories for the National Young Writers Awards of up to 500 words free before Friday 5 May!


Parent’s, head to to enter your child’s story.


Teachers, head to to register your school.





London Wall Partners


The Arts Club
Artists' Collecting Society
Chichester University
Cass Art
The Foyle Foundation
34 Merrion Hotel
Anthony Ward Thomas
Belmond Hotels
Lawrence Alkin Gallery
University for the Creative Arts
Welsh Award - Twr y Felin


Galleries Magazine
Explore Learning
MS Amlin
Pallant House Gallery
Mercers' Company
Brighton Fringe
Art Rooms
The Other Art Fair 2016


British Journal of Photography
Princes Foundation
Chichester College
Be Smart About Art
Unity Studios
Mill Studio
House of Fairy Tales
The Art Newspaper
John Jones
Emily Ball at Seawhite