Shania McDonagh (16) became one of the most successful artists in the 60-year history of the Texaco Children's Art Competition when she was chosen as this year's overall winner today.
Known for her extremely detailed portraits, she won first prize in her age category for the past four years, but it was her portrait entitled “Coleman” that finally won her the top prize.
She saw a photograph of the man in the Vanishing Ireland book and drew a close-up facial study in pencil with such detail that it is hard to believe it’s not a photograph.
Judging panel chairman Prof Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art & Design, said her work has established her “as one of the most talented artists of her generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future”.
Ms McDonagh, who attends Mount St Michael Secondary School in Claremorris, Co Mayo, said it took her about one month to finish the work. She will be presented with her €1,500 first-prize at the prize giving ceremony in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham next month along with the 125 other winners.
She also won the 16-18 year old category. Second prize was won by Cáitríona McClay, Loreto Community School, Milford, Co Donegal while third prize was won by Grace Murray from Ursuline College, Sligo, daughter of Senator Susan O'Keeffe.
The other winners announced today were:
Category B (14-15 years):
1st: Diarmuid McKenna, Killina Presentation Secondary School, Tullamore.
2nd: Jointly awarded Muirine Robinson, Our Lady's School, Terenure, Dublin and Grace Dolan, Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin
3rd: Hannah Witherspoon, Wellington College, Belfast
Category C (12-13 years):
1st: Jem Fitzpatrick, Rathgar, Dublin
2nd: Jodie Ryan, St Colmcille's Community School, Knocklyon
3rd: Síobhra O’Reardon Farrell Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin, Dublin
Category D (9-11 years):
1st: Orla Rooney, Coldwood National School, Craughwell, Co Galway
2nd: Abby Kehoe, Ballinabrana National School, Co Carlow
3rd: Maia McCann, The Art Academy, Rush
Category E (7-8 years):
1st: Ava Henson, The Harold School, Glasthule
2nd: Bailey Jones, The Art Academy, Rush
3rd: Leah Rogers, Carrick National School, Ballinlough, Co Roscommon
Category F (6 years and younger):
1st: Amy Doran, Windy Arbour, Dundrum
2nd: Julianne Coleman, Robswall, Malahide
3rd: Caitlin Rea, St Mary's National School, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow f
Category G, reserved for entries from children with special needs
1st: Ryan Hazley, Beechlawn School, Hillsborough, Co Down
2nd: Ciaran McCarthy, Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Ballincollig, Co. Cork
3rd: Marrissa Carolan, St Joseph’s Special School, Tallaght