FINISHING up their art work for the Bentley Prize are teacher LeeAnne (left) and teacher/director Melinda with, clockwise from bottom: Blair, Ayden, Jess, Lauren, Isaac, Dean, Phoenix, Declan, Alethea and Corey.
FINISHING up their art work for the Bentley Prize are teacher LeeAnne (left) and teacher/director Melinda with, clockwise from bottom: Blair, Ayden, Jess, Lauren, Isaac, Dean, Phoenix, Declan, Alethea and Corey. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Small artists vie for prestigious Bentley Art Prize

BENTLEY Community Pre-School may be small in numbers, but they sure make up for it with enthusiastic artistic prowess.

The children were yesterday busily putting finishing touches on their submission for the 29th annual Bentley Art Prize - The Animal Parade.

Their work is a watercolour and pastel creation that has not only allowed the children to explore their creativity, but has also taught them about light and shadows.

Melinda Turnbull is a teacher at Bentley pre-school and said art can be a good way to teach children difficult concepts.

"We've been looking at shadows and the children have been involved in all techniques from drawing to painting," Miss Turnbull said.

This is the eighth year the students have submitted an entry to the art prize and each of the students have been working to get the piece ready for the past three weeks.

Miss Turnbull said she thinks it is important for children to become involved in art at a young age.

"Art helps children express themselves," Miss Turnbull said.

"It also helps them learn about science when we mix colours or use absorbent paper."

However, the Bentley Art Prize isn't just about the art for Bentley Community Pre-school; it's also their biggest fundraiser of the year.

While the children paint and draw, their parents have been preparing cakes to sell on the day.

There will also be a small children's area at the art show where there will be face painting and games run by the pre-school.

Bentley Art Prize co-ordinator Helen Trustum said children's entries have played an important role in keeping the art prize going.

"We always have so many children submit art and they are the future of the prize," Ms Trustum said.