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May 11th, 2021

We are the Minories is delighted to announce the launch of a children’s art competition, in collaboration with Colchester Garrison, to celebrate Armed Forces Day this year on June 26th.

The competition, called In Pictures – The Faces of Our Armed Forces, is open to all children from 5-18 years old. 

We are asking that children draw an A4 portrait of any member or former member of the Armed Forces that they know and love – it could be their parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent or family friend – as long as they are a serving member of the armed forces, in any role or capacity, or a much loved veteran.

The portraits should be sent to us by post to We are the Minories, 4-5 Trinity Square, Colchester CO1 1JR, as a digital image to, or dropped off in person at We are the Minories’ pop-up gallery at 4-5 Trinity Square. 

The deadline for entries is Sunday, June 6th. 

(Images will not be returned. Please ensure entries are marked with the artist’s name and age, the name and title of the member of the armed forces pictured and a contact email.).

Additionally, we would love to meet any enthusiastic young artists who would like to be involved (especially if they don’t know any armed forces personnel) at one of a series of FREE artist-led workshops, where members of the armed forces will be available to act as ‘models’. The children who attend the workshops will learn about the diversity of the people who make up our armed forces and the variety of roles they fulfil, as well as receiving instruction and advice on their portraits from professional portrait artists. Materials will be provided.

The workshops will be held on the following dates and times during the Summer half-term holiday at the Long Wyre Street Community Hub:

Ages 5-9: Saturday, May 29th, sessions at 10:30am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 4pm

Ages 10-14: Tuesday, June 1st, sessions at 10:30am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 4pm

Ages 15-18: Wednesday, June 2nd, sessions at 10:30am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 4pm

Each workshop will be limited to 15 children (plus one accompanying responsible adult each) to comply with COVID regulations.

To book a place on one of the free workshops please email Jade at, with the child’s age, preferred slot (morning or afternoon) and contact details. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Winning entries from the submissions received and those produced at the workshops will receive a certificate of excellence and be included in a portrait exhibition that launches at a special event on Armed Forces Day, June 26thand runs for two weeks at the new Community Hub in Long Wyre Street. The exhibition will be open to the public so everyone can see the children’s talents.

A companion competition will be held in Renkum in the Netherlands where during the WW2 Battle of Arnhem the British 1st Airborne Division landed by parachute and glider and where they made their final stand. Colchester signed a Bond of Friendship with Renkum in 2019 recognising the common bond each district has with the British Airborne Forces and today’s basing in Colchester of 16 Air Assault Brigade.

So, grab your favourite member of the armed forces and get painting! We look forward to receiving your entry!

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