LS Lowry’s apprentice: 7-year-old’s painting joins Salford artist’s world-famous collection

Most children’s artwork ends-up the decoration of fridge-freezer doors across the country.


Seven-year-old, Jack Barker, from Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, however, can claim a somewhat more prestigious setting – having today unveiled his painting in the gallery at The Lowry in Salford.


Hung side-by-side with some of LS Lowry’s most-famous work, Jack’s interpretation of the artist’s seascapes is the winner of the inaugural Copley Prize – an art competition of paintings or drawings by children that were inspired by Lowry’s work.


Jack, who attends Casterton Sedbergh Preparatory School, was chosen as the winner by the curator of the LS Lowry Collection, Claire Stewart, along with Noel and Alison Copley, who founded the competition.


The work, entitled The Sea, will hang in the permanent Lowry Favourites collection at The Lowry for a year.


Claire Stewart said: “We had some great entries to the competition, but Jack’s work stood out for me because it captures the same sense of infinite, empty space as Lowry’s own seascapes of the North Sea. It now sits alongside Lowry classics such as Going to the Match and will no doubt draw the attention of our 100,000+ visitors, who I’m sure will be as impressed as I was with Jack’s take on Lowry’s much-loved style.”


Jack’s teacher, Val May, said: “Jack always worked well in art and at his young age he was already showing close attention to shape colour and line in his a work. Winning the Copley Prize will help him continue to develop his own unique style and give him the opportunity to establish his techniques and powers of observation. He’s a delightful boy, very modest, who will want to share this wonderful prize with his peers.”


Noel Copley said: “The competition was established to help coax-out the artistic talent in some of the gallery’s youngest visitors. Jack is a worthy first winner and I hope the display of his painting in Lowry Favourites will encourage more primary school children to enter next year.”


The Lowry works with over 500 schools across the North West every year to introduce the world of the arts to young people. That activity has seen schools participation in workshops and visits to the gallery rise to 60,000 in 2012-13.


The Copley Prize was founded in 2013 by Noel and Alison Copley from Norwich, Norfolk. It is open to all primary school children attending The Lowry Galleries as part of a school group. You can view other entries to the competition here:


For more information about The Copley Prize, visit: