A selection of works from more than 2,500 budding art students from 33 primary schools in Tweed shire who entered the increasingly-popular Les Peterkin Portrait Prize go on display at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah from Friday.
The increasingly popular award, now in its 19th year, celebrates the artistic talent of local primary school students.
Working on the theme Once Upon a Time, 2500 the students sketched, collaged, painted and digitally altered portraits that portrayed characters from their favourite stories.
Zavier Dobbyn from Murwillumbah Public School won first prize for the 5-7 years category, Evan Danson from Chillingham Public School won first prize for the 8-10 years category and Jaimie Fox, also from Chillingham Public School, won first prize in the 11-13 years category.
Gallery director Susi Muddiman said the prize was named after legendary local artist and teacher, Les Peterkin.
‘The prize is also made possible by the financial support of Tweed Shire Council, Tyalgum Public School, and the Friends of the Tweed Regional Gallery ad Margaret Olley Art Centre,’ Ms Muddiman said.
‘This year boasts the largest prize pool in the history of the prize, with generous contributions from Derivan, School Arts Supplies and Artable. Last but not least, the prize would not be possible without the enthusiasm of art-loving parents, volunteers and teachers,’ she said.
This year’s judges were local artist Cathy Egan, Friends of the Gallery president, Lyn Stewart, and local artist and teacher, Deb Cocks, who were all very impressed with the creativity and effort of every child who entered the competition.
‘Prize winners, along with the creators of 37 other award-winning and commended works, will have the thrill of seeing their artworks professionally framed and hung in the prestigious gallery setting,’ Ms Muddiman said.
‘A further 200 outstanding works will be displayed in folios for the duration of the exhibition.’
Prize coordinator, Ms Marianne Galluzzo, said the judging was a very lively process, with emphasis placed on selecting the most creative and inspired works.
‘This year’s theme was chosen to expand the imaginations of our aspiring young artists through stories,’ Ms Galluzzo said.
‘Providing them the opportunity to explore and translate known elements of the narrative, such as setting, plot and characterisation into illustrative portraits.’
Tweed Regional Gallery will host the official opening and prize-giving ceremony on Sunday 4 October at 10.15am (daylight savings time).
All are welcome to attend the celebrations, which will begin with a contemporary music and cultural show by Lucas Proudfoot: Circular Rhythm, followed at 11am by light refreshments provided by the Friends of the Gallery.
The exhibition, which runs till 15 November, will be officially opened by Tyalgum Public School principal, Janelle Cloherty, at 11.30am.
To follow, Marianne Galluzzo, Lyn Stewart and the man himself, Les Peterkin, will announce the winners and lead the prize-giving ceremony.