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Connell Makepeace Wins BNY Mellon’s Design a 160th Anniversary Boat Race Poster Competition

A talented young artist has won The BNY Mellon Design a Poster Competition, celebrating the 160th Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race.

Connell Makepeace, 18, of St Helen’s Carmel College, Merseyside, lifted the Award, fending off 100 other entries nationwide. Entrants submitted poster designs to celebrate The 160th Boat Race, one of the world’s longest sporting rivalries in history when crews from Oxford University and Cambridge University race on the River Thames.

One of the judges, Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts Eileen Cooper said: “Connell’s design is wonderfully imaginative and poetic, with its distinctive use of colour, it’s totally engaging. It’s one of a number of works that I really enjoyed, I think it’s a well deserved winner.”

Connell said: “I was so impressed by the standard of submissions by the other entrants and to win has been amazing. I can’t wait to add the professional BNY Mellon Boat Race programme to my portfolio. With the cash prize I plan to visit family in New Zealand and hopefully gain some work experience at the Weta Workshop in Wellington, where the special effects for Lord of the Rings were filmed.”

Angus Montgomery, Editor of Design Week commented: ‘Connell’s winning poster is inventive, informative and humorous. It’s a joyful design, and a lot of that joy lies in the detail – with the imaginative use of copy.’ 

As part of BNY Mellon’s sponsorship of this year’s Boat Race, the Design a Poster Competition was launched as an incentive for aspiring artists, aged 16 to 19, to engage with rowing and have the opportunity to use their design skills. 120 schools nationwide participated.

The winner was selected based on a mixture of public votes and a final decision from a panel of experts including Eileen Cooper RA, Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts, Angus Montgomery, Editor of Design Week, The BNY Mellon Boat Race Ambassador Anna Watkins, gold medallist in the double sculls at the London Olympics 2012, and Jamie Brookes, BNY Mellon’s International Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs.

Connell Makepeace, 18, Merseyside, with his BNY Mellon Boat Race winning poster
Connell Makepeace, 18, Merseyside, with his BNY Mellon Boat Race winning poster

Connell will receive a cash prize of £1,000 and his winning poster will also be reproduced on the cover of the programme on race day, Sunday April 6, 2014.  In addition to the cash prize, Connell and his family will be invited to The BNY Mellon Boat Race Gala dinner.

As part of the competition St Helen’s Carmel College will be awarded vouchers to the value of £250 to be put towards supplies for their art or graphics department.

BNY Mellon is the Title Partner of The Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race. The financial services company has a five-year sponsorship agreement, with the Race now formally titled The BNY Mellon Boat Race. Together with Newton Investment Management Limited, a BNY Mellon company and one of the UK’s leading investment firms, the firm is also working towards parity for the Women’s Boat Race and the Men’s Boat Race. Newton is continuing its sponsorship of the openweight Women’s Boat Clubs in a joint initiative that will bring The Newton Women’s Boat Race to the Tideway in 2015, ensuring both events take place on the same day over the same historic Putney to Mortlake course.