Competition Seeks Art Stars to Meet Sky at Night Presenter

Competition Seeks Art Stars to Meet Sky at Night Presenter

Young artists with an interest in astronomy and space are invited to enter a unique competition as part of the North Pennines Stargazing Festival. 

Presenter of the BBC’s The Sky at Night, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE is headlining the festival with an event at The Witham in Barnard Castle on 20 October. The North Pennines AONB Partnership is offering young people the opportunity to win an exclusive ‘meet and greet’ with Dr Aderin-Pocock. Just 10 young people and their accompanying adults will be invited to a reception event followed by a question and answer session, and will also receive tickets to the event itself, ‘The Science of the Moon and Stars.’

There are two age categories, 6 to 12 years and 13 to 18 years, and entrants should produce a piece of visual art in any medium (no larger than A3) on a space or stargazing theme. For full instructions on how to enter, visit Entries can be posted or delivered to the North Pennines AONB Partnership office in Stanhope, dropped off at the Partnership’s Bowlees Visitor Centre or can be scanned and sent electronically.  The closing date is midnight on 7 October 2018 and the winner s will be informed by 10 October. 

Entries will be judged by Simon Wilson, Business Manager at the North Pennines AONB Partnership who is also an artist; Ann Whitfield, an artist based in Teesdale; and Teesdale photographer Martin Rogers. 
Shane Harris, Responsible Tourism Lead at the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “The Stargazing Festival is a fantastic celebration of the dark skies we have here in the North Pennines. The North Pennines is the darkest mainland AONB and we have more Dark Sky Discovery Sites than anywhere else in the UK. 
“We’re delighted to have such a high profile headliner as Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, and we are particularly excited to be offering young people the chance to meet and talk to her with this competition. We’re hoping for some really creative entries, exploring space and the stars.” 

The festival runs from 20 October until 4 November and stargazers in and around the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark have almost 30 star-themed events to choose from. The programme covers the autumn half-term holidays for schools in Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland and will offer family-friendly events to enjoy the dark skies of the North Pennines AONB. There are also lots events aimed at aspiring astronomers as well as visitors with a general interest in the night sky and stargazing. 

The 2018 North Pennines Stargazing Festival is once again being organised by the North Pennines AONB Partnership. It is being funded by Durham County Council, Northumberland County Council and Visit County Durham.

For the full event programme, please visit 

Published: 20, September, 2018

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