Youngsters needed to create huge Margate painting during Thanet Young Artists exhibition at Westwood

Young artists on the isle are being invited to help create a huge painting of Margate harbour.

The artwork will be painted next month during the exhibition of the annual Thanet Young Artists Painting Competition – with the theme The Simple Pleasures of Life – organised by The Rotary Club of Margate.

Between Friday, May 12 and Sunday, May 15 Steven Alexander, a local and prolific plein-air painter, will be inviting young shoppers at Sainsbury’s Westwood Cross to assist him by making a guided contribution to the large painting of Margate harbour.

Last year, around 35 young people played their part in producing a similar painting of Broadstairs harbour, which was then raffled with proceeds going to charity.

This year the Rotary is keen for many more young shoppers to contribute to the project. As before, the Rotary hopes to raise some money for charity and raffle the finished painting when the exhibition of competition winners closes at Sainsbury’s.

The exhibition and taking part

Youngsters from 36 Thanet schools have produced 740 pieces of art which will be exhibited at Westwood Cross Sainsbury’s aim from May 12-14. Organisers for the big Margate painting will be in the store foyer on Friday, May 12 from 4pm until 6.30pm, on Saturday, May 13 from 10am until 4pm and on Sunday, May 14 from 11am until 4pm.

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All painting equipment  – including ‘the Smock of Power’ to protect clothes – will be provided and each assistant will be needed for no more than a minute or two.


This year the Rotary has something new for the winners of the Thanet Young Artists Competition: the chance to enjoy and learn from two, one-day workshops. The first will be a plein-air painting workshop where Steven Alexander will guide participants in the production of a landscape, townscape or marine painting in Margate.

Steven Alexander

The second workshop on portrait painting from life will be led by artist Brian Homewood.

Brian Homewood

These two workshops will be offered free of charge in the hope that talented young artists will be inspired to work more regularly from the subject.

Steven  and Brian  are both members of the Rotary Club of Margate, have both been drawing and painting for over 50 years, and work by both of them is regularly posted on Facebook at the Thanet Plein Air Painters page.

Steven is also the author of a book about his father, renowned Margate figurative artist Christopher Alexander.

Work by Christopher, who died in 1982 was exhibited at Turner Contemporary in 2015.

The dates for the two workshops are due to be announced soon.

VIP guest

Celebrated contemporary artists Willow Winston will be a VIP guest at the exhibition, officially opening and assisting the prizegiving at noon on May 13.

Willow, who has an arts unit in Broadstairs and links to the Ramsgate Montefiore family, has been exhibited in America and the UK and is in collections and museums, including the V&A, on both sides of the Atlantic.

She has taught in several American Universities and at Central Saint Martins and the Royal Academy Schools in the UK.

Appeal for help

The Rotary Club of Margate has issued a plea for help ahead of the exhibition. Members need to hang the 740 paintings on Thursday, May 11 from 4pm and are appealing for volunteers to help.

They also need a hand laying out paintings at St George’s school hall Friday, May 5 from 4 pm ready for judging the next day.

If you can help message the Thanet Schools Young Artists’ Art Exhibition 2008 to 2017 facebook page or email Brian Homewood on [email protected]