Dawn Jones Art Prize 2014 Prize Giving

This year, we were delighted to take over the running of the Dawn Jones Art Prize, which invited people with experience of mental health to create artwork.

IMG_0074Now 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. Previously, the competition was run by Walsall Service User Empowerment (SUE). This was the first year the competition was run by the Trust, which allowed residents from across both Dudley and Walsall boroughs to take part.

This year, people were invited to enter artwork into one of two categories: ‘What makes me happy’ and ‘What I am hopeful for’. We received many excellent entries, and our judges had to make some very difficult decisions in choosing the shortlist and winners.

IMG_0092This year’s winners, Ann-Monique Stellinga and Sabrina Jones, were presented with trophies by David Matthews, Non-Executive Director at the Trust, at a prize giving event on 7th October. They both won £100 in vouchers of their choice and the long-term display of their artwork in our Trust buildings. 10 other entries were exhibited at The Crossing at St Paul’s in Walsall and at Insight Carer’s Café in Dudley throughout September.

Sabrina, from Dudley, said: “I really didn’t think I was going to win. Winning was a great feeling, as it was something I never thought I’d achieve.” Explaining the meaning behind her winning artwork, Sabrina says: “My drawing expresses the effect depression has had on me, and the struggles I’ve face. Winning the prize has really inspired me to carry on with art, and I hope it will inspire others with the same illness to keep going.”

Maureen Jones, who was on the judging panel for the prize, said: “I’m really glad we’ve been able to keep the prize running this year. It’s rewarding to see how the prize inspires people with experience of mental health to get involved in art, which can often be very therapeutic.”

The Dawn Jones Art Prize runs every year. For more information, email Maureen Jones at bmjones420@gmail.com