John Downton Awards

The awards

The John Downton Award for Young Artists is an annual exhibition which encourages and celebrates the creativity of Kent's young artists. It is open to students aged 11 to 18 from schools and colleges across Kent.

The award is hosted by us on behalf of the John Downton Trust. The exhibition commemorates the life and work of John Downton, the celebrated Kent artist, poet and philosopher.

Please email for more information about the awards.

The exhibition

An exhibition of shortlisted work will be shown at County Hall in Maidstone from Tuesday 22 October 2019 to Wednesday 8 January 2020. Winners will be announced at an invitation-only awards evening on Tuesday 19 November.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to vote in the People’s Choice Award. The result will be announced at the beginning of January 2020.

Selected works will then tour to Turner Contemporary in Margate from Saturday 18 January 2020 to Sunday 8 March 2020.

Trophy competition

Find out how you can enter a competition to design a new John Downton Trophy.

2018 winners

Highly commended

Lucas Gill, Sackville School

Jemima Gunston, Kent College, Pembury


Willow Winkins, Dartford Grammar School for Girls

BronzeMolly Bax, Highworth Grammar SchoolLauren Browne, Hillview School for Girls
SilverAlfie Stevens, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar SchoolTobi Omotayo, Dartford Grammar School for Girls
GoldElla Thea Jackson-Harris, The Archbishop’s SchoolMary Ward, Highworth Grammar School
PaintingJoseph Clinton, Oakwood Park Grammar SchoolOscar Goodsell, The Norton Knatchbull School
DrawingIsla Graham, The Archbishop’s SchoolLewis Spooner, The Norton Knatchbull School
Mixed mediaLaurel Fishlock, Dover Grammar School for GirlsBethany Lewis, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School
PhotographyLuiza Asavoaei, Northfleet School for GirlsJames Welch, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School
Special award 2 x certificatesThe Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of Sam Fournillier, The Norton Knatchbull School
Best overall schoolSt John’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Gravesend
The People’s Choice AwardCharlie J Hardy from Maplesden Noakes School, Maidstone

Submissions for 2019

Entries closed 17 September 2019.