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Byron Shire
April 12, 2021

School kids’ art works Surprise judges

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Nathan Singh, Mr Mushtysh, 8-10 years - Murwillumbah Public School
Nathan Singh, Mr Mushtysh, 8-10 years – Murwillumbah Public School

The enormous talent of Tweed and Byron primary school students will again be celebrated by the annual Les Peterkin Portrait Prize, on show at the Tweed Regional Gallery from Friday (September 22).

The prize is one of the Gallery’s most popular exhibitions and has attracted an enormous number of entries and participating schools this year.

Working on the theme Surprise! primary school students sketched, collaged, photographed and painted images that capture their unique character and depict an unexpected moment in their lives. Students explored an experience that frightened, excited or even shocked them.

This year’s submissions were a true indication that art in Tweed schools is alive and well, prize coordinator Marianne Galluzzo said.

‘The high standard of works submitted displayed great imagination in subject matter and in the use of materials. This is why I would like to congratulate every child who submitted an entry, because everyone showed a genuine and extremely talented attempt to produce a work of art,’ Ms Galluzzo said.

All 37 award-winning and commended artworks will be professionally framed and featured in the exhibition. Another 180 outstanding works will be displayed in folios for the duration of the exhibition.

Nilon Jordan, Self portrait, 11-13 years - Tweed Valley Adventist College.
Nilon Jordan, Self portrait, 11-13 years – Tweed Valley Adventist College.

The creativity and effort of every child who entered the competition greatly impressed the 2017 panel of judges.

The prize is named after legendary Tweed artist and art teacher Les Peterkin.

Tweed Regional Gallery will host the official opening and prize-giving ceremony on Thursday 21 September, one of its biggest events of the year. Children, family and friends are invited to enjoy the antics of roving magician and balloon animal creator Shorty Brown and watch high school student Ella McDermott create live caricatures for six lucky ticket winners from 3.30pm-4.30pm.

Les Peterkin Portrait Prize, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, September 22 – December 4.


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  1. Plenty of good artists here in our area, but very little is done for marketing, which must exist for any artist to survive. What about a future for these artists and others well down the track?
    About time there was more balance with year around presentation in art galleries and with sales.
    Why is there so little interest or training in art sales?

    Lahaina on Maui is a lot like Byron..except there are many galleries in Lahaina, and near nothing here.
    Art is taken seriously overseas..but not here?

    Centre Art on Maui at the Kaanapali had sales in the 1980’s with a slow month at a half million in sales, and a good month at 15 million a month, alone.

    Maybe happen here in another 100 years?

    Why is it that there is plenty of art training and work here..with no attention to marketing at all, at the Tweed facility, Southern Cross Uni, or elsewhere?
    Artists have every right to survive, with an inspired population and art knowledge sales. End the apathy!


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