Last October, I was invited by The Portico Library and Gallery to be one of the three judges at The Assembly, the 11th annual Schools’ Exhibition and Art Prize. Me and several other judges met at the Portico Library and Gallery in Manchester to peruse all of the works, choose our favourites, and then decide on the winners for a series of separate awards and prizes that are part of the over all event. Judging the entries wasn’t in any way easy and I can honestly say I would have liked to have been able to award a lot more prizes than we as judges were able to, such was the high quality of a lot of the work. Each judge had differing points of view and there was a lot of debate, but it didn’t come to blows and I think we struck a fair balance in the end. The featured painting is ‘Self Portrait’ by Eleanor Savage from The Oldham Hulme Grammar School, which I thought had a certain expressionist intensity, whose painting was winner of The Bloxham Charitable Trust Prize. Information about the event including a list of the eventual prize winners can be found here.