Limerick student wins Texaco Children’s Art Competition

Marta Turalska wins overall category and prize of €1,500 for ‘My Grandma With Grape’

The 21 finalists for this years Texaco Art competition are on display in the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane until May 22nd. Video: Enda O'Dowd


A Limerick student’s portrait of her grape-eating granny was on Tuesday announced as the winner of the Texaco Children’s Art Competition 2016.

The portrait, titled My Grandma With Grape, was created by Marta Turalska, a 17-year-old originally from Poland who attends Scoil Mhuire agus Íde in Newcastle West.

Consisting of water-based paint and colouring pencil, the piece of art took a month to compose and was Turalska’s first entry to the competition, having moved to Ireland seven years ago.

The winner, who will be awarded the top prize of €1,500 at a ceremony in the Royal Kilmainham Hospital next month, said the subject of the artwork, who lives in Poland, was “very happy” to hear the finished product has gained such critical acclaim.

She cited her father and school art teacher as being the main inspirations behind her work.

Eclectic array

An eclectic array of imagery adorned the walls of the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin for the winners’ ceremony as 21 pictures of everything from household pets, tribal war masks and historical figures were honoured as being among the finest entries in this year’s competition.

Grasping his charcoal-and-pencil drawing of Irish Volunteers leader Eoin MacNeill that won third place in the B category for 14- to 15-year-olds, Jack Lynch from St Patrick’s Classical School in Navan said the piece was a confluence of his two great passions - art and history.

“I just thought seeing as it was the 1916 anniversary it would be a good topic to do. He had a great expression on his face. I was huge into history in primary school - my principal Tony Coogan inspired me to do it,” he said.

Staring down from the other side of the gallery was another portrait titled Other People’s Success Isn’t Your Failure.

Its creator, Jack McKeon from Ard Scoil Rís in Limerick, claimed third place in the A category for 16- to 18-year-olds, and said the rendering of Tony Award-winning actor Christian Borle came about following a speech he made last year.

“In his Tony acceptance speech he said ‘Other people’s success isn’t your failure’, and upon hearing this I just thought ‘Wow’, it really made me think,” said McKeon, who described the work as a tribute to Borle as a person.

Chairman of the judging panel, Prof Declan McGonagle, praised the standard of this year’s entries and said the competition remains of huge value to schoolchildren countrywide.

“The standard has been increasing in quality over the years that I have been involved in the competition,” he said.

“A lot of our significant artists in Ireland would have at some point won prizes in the Texaco, so you can’t overestimate the value of a competition like this in terms of encouragement of young people’s creativity,” he added.

The Texaco Children’s Art Competition is now in its 62nd year, and the top 21 winning works from 2016 will remain on exhibition in the Hugh Lane Gallery until 22nd May.


Category winners

Category A (16 to 18 years) - Marta Turalska, Scoil Mhuire agus Íde Newcastle West, My Grandma With Grape

Category B (14 to 15 years) - Aoife Casey, Our Lady of Mercy Waterford, Self Portrait

Category C (12 to 13 years) - Tara Watson, St Joseph’s of Cluny Secondary School Killiney, Hook Lighthouse

Category D (9 to 11 years) - Hannah Fanning, Newtown Dunleckney NS Bagenalstown, In A Pensive Mood

Category E (7 and 8 years) - Eimear Donovan, Caherline NS Co Limerick, Portrait of A Boy

Category F (6 years and under)- Ellie Giblin, Scoil Mobhí Glasnevin, Ellie’s Drawing of A Vase of Flowers

Category G (Special needs - young adults and children) - James Wellwood, Coláiste Mhuire Johnstown, Fish