Big Draw 2020 Ellie Fox

University and #TheBigDraw brings climate change into focus for young people in Cumbria


Young artists have been taking part in the world’s biggest drawing festival thanks to support from University of Cumbria. 

For the first time the university is a sponsor partner in The Big Draw Festival 2020, joining organisations including Care UK, The National Archives and The Walt Disney Family Museum in America. 

Offering artistic and cultural opportunities to young people, the university invited local secondary schools and colleges to take part in The Big Cumbria Draw competition. 

Judges at the university’s Institute of the Arts have selected two winners from entries received. 

They are Ellie Fox, a year 11 pupil at Richard Rose Morton Academy, Carlisle, and Jenny Gillon, who is in the sixth form at Keswick School. Each is to receive a £100 Amazon e-voucher. 

Participating schools also included Beacon Hill School, in Aspatria; Solway School in Silloth, and St Benedict’s School in Whitehaven. 

The Big Draw 2020 festival theme #ClimateOfChange invited artists to focus on the relationship between people and living environments and ecosystems, highlighting how we live today and the ways humans may or may not live in harmony with nature. Students and pupils across Cumbria used recycled materials in their creations. 

Head judge Colette Conroy, director of the Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria, said: “We are delighted to support The Big Draw Festival in 2020. 

“This year is one that has turned life as we know it upside down and has brought how we interact with each other and the environment into sharp focus, along with the importance of the arts and culture to bring enrichment to our lives. 

“All forms of the arts, including drawing, allow us to express ourselves confidently, in different and thought-provoking ways, often communicating in ways words are unable to fully express. 

“Our thanks go to all those developing artists who entered the competition and who made our job of judging so tough, but it has been wonderful to see so many talents on display from young people across Cumbria.” 

University of Cumbria is proud of its rich and cultural heritage of providing programmes in the arts. 

Its dedicated arts campus in Carlisle has been on the same Brampton Road site for seven decades.  

Arts programmes also run from the university’s campus in Ambleside, in the heart of England’s Lake District, allowing students to draw inspiration from the same landscapes as those including Victorian critic and thinker John Ruskin and Romantic poet William Wordsworth. 

The Big Draw Festival is organised annually by The Big Draw, an arts education charity which has strong links to Ruskin too, awarding The John Ruskin Prize every year.  

The Big Cumbria Draw 2020 gallery of artwork entries can be found on the university’s social media channels including Facebook, and you can discover more about the festival at 


  1. The Big Cumbria Draw 2020 winner (secondary schools) - Ellie Fox, Richard Rose Morton Academy, Carlisle 

      2. Ellie’s winning entry – WAIL! 

3.  The Big Cumbria Draw 2020 winner (sixth forms/colleges) - Jenny Gillon, Keswick School. 

4.  Jenny’s winning entry - Cut the Plastic, Do Something Drastic