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This Is Northern New South Wales

stART me up!

stART Them Young

Movers and shakers come in all sizes…

ART be of no exception.

The Byron Shire is blessed with a wealth of creativity. There are those famed internationally for their talents and the less renowned who display their creativity at local markets and shops.

‘stART me up’ is a superb initiative created by artist James McMillan, in conjunction with this year’s second annual Byron Bay Surf Festival. Event co-organiser McMillan has enlisted the experienced assistance of the team at REAL Creative Design Studio in creating an art competition and exhibition to support and mentor the region’s junior Picassos on Saturday 27th October.

Inviting budding artists from as young as 4 to 18 years old, stART me up is asking for submissions through schools or from individuals, to be exhibited during the Byron Bay Surf Festival in October, with a host of exceptional prizes on offer for the lucky winners.

The one fortunate recipient of first prize in the 14-18 year division will receive a six-month mentorship under the expert tutelage of James McMillan and the designers at REAL Creative Design Studio, allowing them the exceptional opportunity to gain first-hand experience and invaluable advice and information from the professionals.

For the remaining divisions there will be some amazing prizes up for grabs including an ESP Surfboard, Sideways Skateboard, product packs from Volcom, Skullcandy, Circus Arts and Byron Skateboard Coaching. No one shall leave empty-handed. Each entrant will receive a goody bag full of treats from the festival sponsors.

Three divisions are open, 4 to 8 years, 9 to 13 years and 14 to 18 years, and work is limited to 350mm x 350mm, but subject and medium are hindered only by the imagination. Photography, paint, collage or pencil; anything is welcome and an exhibition of the entries will be on display at the Byron Youth Services Centre on Saturday, 27th October.

The stART Me Up exhibition won’t be the only event of the day to thrill and entertain the younger generations, with the youth centre also hosting skateboard demos and safety talks from Early Skateboards and Byron Skateboard Coaching, a breakdancing contest, art workshops, live screen-printing, marine debris art creations, face painting, live music from a collection of talented young locals, even a hula-hooping workshop.

Schools are encouraged to utilise the event and opportunity in conjunction with their class work and should contact the Byron Bay Surf Festival through their website – – for further information.

Individuals are asked to visit the website for information on entering the event, entries to which should be submitted 10 days prior to the exhibition at the Byron Youth Centre.

Story By Tommy Leitch / Photos by Kat Charles for Real Creative Design Studio