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Record number of prizes awarded for 2018 Mosman Youth Art Prize

16 March 2018

The 2018 Mosman Youth Art Prize awarded just over 70 prizes to talented young artists at the opening night at Mosman Art Gallery (MAG) on Friday 16 March. The annual exhibition, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018, continues to attract hundreds of entrants aged between 12 and 21, from across NSW and interstate, including Canberra and Brisbane. Although there were more than 300 entrants, only 200 had their work hung and were therefore in the running for prizes. This year the exhibition showcases work in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking and video.

To celebrate 30 years of the Mosman Youth Art Prize, this year’s entries were judged by internationally acclaimed and local artist Ken Done AM, who initiated the Prize in 1988. Whilst at times overwhelming and daunting, Done found judging the Prize a great honour. He was impressed by the exceptionally high quality and professionalism of the entries, stating that “the winning works would stand successfully in any art competition whether they are for youths or adults.”

This professionalism and maturity is clearly visible in the Tertiary category for artists aged between 18-21 years. The winner of first prize in this category went to 19 year old Dilara Niriella of Bella Vista for her large-scale oil on canvas portrait of a surgeon mid-operation, titled Sorry to interrupt… Dilara has had previous success in the Mosman Youth Art Prize, picking up a Tertiary highly commended prize in 2017.

Narraweena resident Isabella Gerardi’s entry was awarded highly commended in the Tertiary category but was also selected as the winner of the MAG Friends of the Gallery Tertiary Encouragement Award. The 18 year’s layered woodblock print titled Passed, present comments on the impact urban development has on Australia’s native flora and fauna.

The winner of first cash prize in the Senior category for artists between 15-17 years, was Beverly Hills Girls High School student Kianie Zeng. The winning work by the 17 year old is a series of photo-realist colour drawings of zoo animals, titled Parallel. Kianie was also successful in receiving the National Art School short course prize. 13 year old Balgowlah resident Jemma Brown was awarded first prize in the Junior category (12-14 years) for her playful colour drawing depicting the consumption of a juicy red apple, titled All gone.

Tim Marvin of Winston Hills in Sydney’s West was awarded an Encouragement Prize from The Julian Ashton Art School for his striking large-scale portrait titled Here and then (hand, father, dog). The prize will enable the 21 year old to take up a full scholarship at the Art School.

Over the last 30 years, the Mosman Youth Art Prize has achieved a national profile and offers young people around the country an opportunity to exhibit their work in a public gallery. The highly sought-after Prize has launched the careers of many successful artists such as sculptor Alex Seton, interdisciplinary artist JD Reforma, and Archibald Prize finalist Natasha Walsh.

Mosman Council would like to thank Gold Sponsors, Audi Centre Mosman for once again contributing $5,000 towards the cash prizes, and the Ken Done Gallery who have generously provided art materials to the value of $5,000 to 50 Prize entrants. This support provides additional reward for young artists seeking a career in the visual arts and makes the Mosman Youth Art Prize one of the richest competitions for youth with total cash prizes of over $8,000, and over $10,000 in art scholarships, materials and other prizes.

The Prize is also supported by local businesses, art schools and other associations including Fourth Village Providore, Northshore School of Art and The Rotary Club of Mosman. Encouragement awards were given by The Julian Ashton Art School, the National Art School, the Australian Watercolour Institute, Mosman Art Society / Art Smart and Friends of Mosman Art Gallery.

The 2018 Mosman Youth Art Prize exhibition runs from 17 March – 15 April 2018.