Budding artist, Jude Cole, who’s seven and goes to Rudheath Primary Academy in Northwich has been named the winner of the Project Happy art competition after drawing a picture of his pet dog, a Labrador cross called Buddy.

Three weeks ago Barons Quay and Cheshire West and Chester Council invited children in Northwich to enter a drawing competition as part of a new campaign called Project Happy.  The winning artwork would become part of a large mural for the town and the brief for children was to draw something that makes them happy, using lots of colour.

Jude’s picture of his pet dog was a popular choice for the panel of judges, which included Barons Quay Centre Manager Lina Higuita, Councillor Richard Beacham and North West artist Emma Evans.  

Emma will bring Project Happy to Barons Quay as well as the streets of Northwich, with three artworks that are expected to be completed in the summer.  She will work with winner Jude to incorporate his drawing into the painted mural at the Centre.

Five runner-ups were also selected: Louise Donati age 11, Laura Dawson age 11, Pippa Humphries age 8, Aurora Quinn age 5 and Skye Dawson age 9, who have all won a £20 voucher for The Entertainer and will see their artworks displayed at Barons Quay over the summer.

Lina Higuita said: “We hope that Project Happy will bring hope and positivity to people in Northwich post lockdown. We launched the competition to give young people something happy to focus on and we have been overwhelmed by the response from local artists! It was very hard to choose the winning design, but I loved the inspiration behind Jude’s piece as well as the picture itself.”

Emma Evans said: “There is certainly some creative talent in Northwich! It was difficult to pick a winner but I felt that Jude’s piece of art was perfect for Project Happy. Pets have played an important role during lockdown, keeping people’s spirits up and offering a good distraction. I love his fantastic use of colour and I believe that Jude has captured the personality of his happy dog wonderfully in this picture. I am looking forward to painting Jude’s art into my large mural, it will complete it.”

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth, said: “I am delighted that so many children got involved with Project Happy and it was amazing to see so many fantastic pieces of artwork. 

“Although it was extremely difficult to pick just one winner, I think that Jude’s drawing of his beloved pet dog is brilliant and will put a smile on people’s faces when it is incorporated into the mural for all Northwich residents to enjoy.”

Project Happy, was launched by Barons Quay in June and will include a number of initiatives for Northwich; engaging street artworks in the town and projects to reward the local charities and individuals that have helped others during the coronavirus outbreak.