Paint the Town @ Home in 2020

The Bureau Centre for the Arts, supported by Blackburn BID, Blackburn with Darwen Council Arts & Heritage and the Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage project are delighted to bring you Paint the Town @ Home on Saturday 30 May 2020!

The fantastic Paint the Town visual arts event is in its fifth year and usually takes place across Blackburn town centre, with artists capturing Blackburn town centre and its people over the course of one day.

This year’s event is scheduled to take place on in September, however, with the country currently being on lockdown and there being uncertainty about when and how restrictions will be lifted, the organisers couldn’t wait and decided to set up an exciting online version of the event! 

An event you can take part in from the safety and comfort of your own home, and an event that will capture and permanently record this unprecedented time in our lives.

Welcome to Paint the Town @ Home. 

Paint the Town @ Home is a challenge to artists of all ages and abilities – beginners, amateurs and professionals – to create a painting, drawing, sketch or other visual or digital artwork of Blackburn and its people.  The twist is, we are not asking you to set up with your art materials in the open air or public open space, we are asking you to stay at home and create artwork using the view from your window, the people in your household, online/social media images, photographs, books or your memory as inspiration. 

The Paint the Town @ Home artwork should fit within one of these 3 themes:-

  • Blackburn town centre (including the Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage area)
  • Wider Blackburn with Darwen area
  • People of Blackburn

The categories:

  • Adult, any ability (not digital art or photography)
  • Adult, any ability, digital art and photography
  • Ages 13 to 17
  • Age 12 and under


The event will be an exciting one to take part in, and there will be opportunities both in the run up to the event and during it, to take part in tutorials to learn new skills, and to showcase your work.

Prizes for adult entrants include:-

  • 1st prize: £100 cash & free exhibition space in The Bureau Centre for the Arts
  • 2nd prize: £50 cash & free tickets for events at The Bureau Centre for the Arts

Prizes for Ages 17 and Under include:-

  • Specially selected arts & crafts materials

The submitted artwork will be judged by a panel of judges after the event and the winners of each category announced within 2 weeks.

How to enter

To take part in the competition as an artist, you will need to register for the event here:

The organisers are only asking for small donations from adult entrants – ‘pay what you can’ to take part to help with the costs of organising the event.

On the day

On the day of the event if you are taking part as an artist you will check in with the organisers online between 8am and 10am, and you will be sent a secure link to enable you to do this.  The organisers will check what materials you are starting with, that your canvas or art material is blank, what you are planning to create, and check you are ok with the day ahead.

Participating artists will be asked to provide updates on their progress during the day, through photos, short videos or whatever you are comfortable with, and you will be supported to do this.

You will also have an opportunity to provide a video ‘artist bio’ – whatever your ability or experience – so that people watching the event can find out more about you, your work, and all the artists involved.

You will then be asked to check back in with the organisers when you’ve finished your artwork, by 6pm on the event day, to ‘virtually’ submit your work to the competition.  Your work will be showcased on the Paint the Town at Home facebook event page.

Watch the event

If you don’t wish to take part in the event but would like to enjoy the event, watch artists at work and learn more about the artwork being produced (just as you would with the Paint the Town event), you will be able to view photos, videos and tutorials on the Paint the Town @ Home event page on Facebook throughout the day.  You’ll also be able to see the finished artwork. Visit:

Paint the Town @ Home tutorials

To support artists of any level to take part, we will be working with artists to provide online tutorials in the run up to the event, covering topics like urban sketching and creating landscapes.  Check the Paint the Town @ Home facebook event page for more information.

Paint the Town @ Home for Kids!

There’s more!  When event registration opens we will be inviting children to submit their ‘lockdown’ creative artwork which we will showcase on our Facebook event page! 

The children’s gallery will be open for entries until 29 May, and we’d like artwork within the 3 Paint the Town @ Home categories – Blackburn town centre; Wider Blackburn with Darwen area; and people of Blackburn.  

Children can use photos, online images, the people in their household or the view from their window as inspiration just as with the main event.

©2023 Blackburn BID

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