The renowned painter epitomises home town passion, and the same is true of competition winner Ebony Watts.
The Year 4 pupil from St Pius X RC Primary School was one of hundreds of local schoolchildren to enter the ‘My Town’ drawing competition.
The initiative was launched by the Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project and Middlesbrough Sports Village following the recent runaway success of Mackenzie Thorpe’s Station Posters exhibition at Middlesbrough Railway Station.
And when the artist was faced with the tough choice of picking a winning entry, it was Ebony’s painting featuring the Transporter, Dock clock, Bottle of Notes and urban park that really caught his eye.
Mackenzie said: “There were some great entries that really showed how much Middlesbrough means to our young people, and how proud they are of their home town.
“Their paintings and drawings featured the landmarks that symbolise our rich heritage, as well as the new buildings and structures that are helping to shape the town’s future identity.
“There were lots of terrific pictures to choose from, but I felt Ebony’s best captured the spirit of Middlesbrough and her love of her home town.”
Ebony was presented with her award by Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd and Leisure Services Manager Paul Ayre while her class mates enjoyed a play session in the new Fun Village at the Sports Village.
She will also see her painting displayed as a huge poster in Middlesbrough Town Centre, and many of the entries will form part of a forthcoming exhibition in the town.
Head Boy and Head Girl of St Pius X RC Primary School Ryan McGregor and Grace Crutchley from Year 6, also presented Middlesbrough Mayor Budd with examples of a project called ‘Marvellous Middlesbrough’ which features paintings, drawings and written work on all the positive features and developments in the town.
Later in the year Ebony will also meet Mackenzie in person and ride in the glass lift at the official launch of the Tees Transporter Visitor Experience.
Middlesbrough Mayor David Budd said: “There’s a huge amount of investment under way in Middlesbrough at the moment, creating a whole new environment alongside the landmarks which recall our history.
“The entries from all the schools were of a really high standard and featured many iconic landmarks and buildings such as the Bottle of Notes, the Dorman Museum, mima, Transporter Bridge, Roseberry Topping and Middlesbrough Football Club.
“Ebony’s poster is a worthy winner and it is fitting that many of the entries will feature in their own exhibition in the town centre.
“Mackenzie is a fantastic ambassador for Middlesbrough and I’m grateful to him for taking the time to judge the competition.”
Mackenzie Thorpe’s Station Posters collection can be viewed in full at http://www.mackenziethorpe.net/-station-posters.html