Young artist adds to new Bedale Library mural

A gifted young artist has won Bedale Community Library’s inaugural art competition to create a picture of a woodland friend for a secret garden mural in the children’s area of the building.

Roxie Ventham, a Year 7 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, was made aware of the competition by her grandmother, Sharon Neale, a regular user of the library.

She entered a beautiful hand-drawn picture of a fox and was over the moon to discover that hers was the winning design.

Roxie’s prize was to spend time at the library working with Wendi New, an award-winning muralist, who judged the competition.

Eleven-year-old Roxie, from Bedale, said: “I was overjoyed and couldn’t believe I had won.

“Whilst working with Wendi I felt like I wasn’t under any pressure to work quickly and took on board the tips she has told me such as how to make paint look fluffy.

“It was a very good and exciting opportunity.”

Wendy has been commissioned to produce a mural for the children’s area of the Library titled The Secret Garden, inspired by the classic children’s book of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Roxie’s fox is a key focus of the mural and Wendi helped Roxie recreate her design, helping her with her brush strokes to achieve the right effect for the fur of her fox.

The mural is painted on a door inside the library and Roxie was able to sign her name against the fox as a permanent reminder of her winning artwork.

Elizabeth Bostock, library trustee, said: “This is the first art competition organised by Bedale Community Library. The competition is part of a series of events to encourage children and young people to come to the Library and get creative. The Library is in its third year as a community-run organisation and both trustees and the many volunteers are committed to making the library a place where all generations are welcome and, in particular, a place where there are events and activities throughout the year”.

The art competition is part of a series of events at Bedale Community Library using a grant from the National Lottery to engage young minds and encourage an exploration of creativity through art and reading.

A series of Paint, Pens & Pixels workshops are being run by Wendi New and Pete Gough, digital artist, on Saturday mornings until June this year.

The workshops are offered to children ages 7-18 years, £2.50 per session, with further details available from the library or email

The mural in full.