CEIST Schools are Top Achievers in Prestigious Art Competition!

A remarkable insight into the future of Irish art was unveiled on Tuesday 19th April 2011 as 21 young people received prizes for their works, which temporarily adorned the walls of one of the most prestigious galleries in the country.

There was much celebration in the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin as the winners of this year's Texaco Children's Art Competition were displayed in the 57th year of a contest which has been accurate in predicting the emergence of future talent.

Past winners of the competition have included Graham Knuttel, Robert Ballagh and fashion designer Paul Costello, as well as less likely art impressarios such as PR consultant Terry Prone, education minister Ruairi Quinn and ICTU general secretary David Begg.

Students from CEIST schools did very well in the competition. The overall winner was student, Keith Blake, (pictured below) from Presentation Secondary School, Ballingarry, Thurles, Co. Tipperary for his self-portrait entitled 'A Warm Place'. In his interview with the Irish Independent Keith said "he took about four days to complete the acrylic painting using mirrors and a picture of himself to get the skin tones right."







"I draw the whole time but it is difficult with school. I usually do portraiture and I really like drawing people," Keith said. 

He expects to spend at least part of his €2,000 prize fund on college fees should he get into an art design course in the Limerick Institute of Technology after his Leaving Certificate.

He will also get the opportunity to travel to Japan, where his picture will be displayed in an international exhibition.

Deirdre Manny who is a student in St. Joseph's Secondary School, Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath came first in the special needs category for the second year in a row, for her work entitled 'Welsh Poppies'.

"I was on holidays, and in a garden I saw these poppies, so I took a picture of them and then in the summer I painted the picture," she said.

The 15-year-old from St Joseph's Secondary School in Rochfortbridge is currently undergoing tests to see if she is fit to go through an operation to tackle her epilepsy, which results in her getting a number of seizures every day.

Yesterday marked the 57th year of the competition, which has always been sponsored by Texaco, now owned by Chevron (Ireland), and attracted some 30,000 entries.

Professor Declan McGonagle, the director of the National College of Art and Design and chair of the judging panel, said the level of skill of the young artists is increasing every year.

"I think that is down to two situations, one is obviously the school situation, but clearly families are much more encouraging of young people spending time making art works of different types at home," he said.

Other CEIST winners in the competition included Shania McDonagh from Mount St. Michael Secondary School, Co. Mayo who came first in the Category C - 12 to 13 years and Juliette Morrison from St. Vincent's Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth who was second in this category.