Texaco Children’s Art Competition winners celebrate

Heather Humphreys presents prizes to young artists at Royal Hospital Kilmainham

Some of Ireland's most talented and aspiring young artists filed into the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Thursday to celebrate the prize winners of the 61st Texaco Children's Art Competition.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, who was invited as the guest of honour, presented accolades to the winner of each category and commended each competitor for their creativity and inventiveness.

“The creative work on display here today is expressive, colourful and uplifting. It shows us just what is possible when young people work to fulfil their creative potential,” she said.

“Being involved in the arts can have a hugely positive impact on schoolchildren. Young people who are active in the arts have been shown to perform better academically and go on to lead fuller and indeed more creative lives,” she added.

The Minister paid particular tribute to the overall prize winner of the competition, 18-year-old Frances Treanor from Tydavnet, Co Monaghan who created her self-portrait using a single Bic pen. She described the young artist's piece as "incredible" and praised her painstaking attention to detail.

Hard decision

Ms Humphreys was joined on her tour of the artwork by Director of the National College for Art and Design (NCAD), Declan McGonagle. Mr McGonagle said that it was a hard decision to choose a winner but he believed that Ms Treanor’s was the most impressive.

“What’s amazing is the effect which she’s produced. It’s quite remarkable when you look at it because it’s very hard to see how she got that effect with something as ordinary as a biro. It’s a demonstration of the skill, concentration, motivation, and commitment which goes into something like that,” he said.

Ms Treanor received a cheque for €1,500 and an invitation to visit Tokyo, Japan to attend an exhibition hosted by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture in the city’s National Art Center where her portrait will be displayed.

Also entering this year's competition was 9-year-old Lochlainn King from Templeogue, Co Dublin. The King family have an intergenerational history with the competition. His grandmother, Joan King, entered the first Texaco Children's Art Competition in 1965 while his father Julian, a lecturer at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, won the main prize in 1976.

The Minister commended the King family for their commitment and added that the annual competition is “surely a family tradition in the King household”.

Winners: Category A (16-18 years): Frances Treanor, St. Louis Secondary School in Monaghan Town; Category B (14-15 years): Vitaly Dergachev, Wesley College, Ballinteer, Dublin; Category C (12-13 years): Nicole Forster, Wilson's Hospital Secondary School, Multyfarnham, Westmeath; Category D (9-11 years): Stephen Walsh, Ratoath Senior NS, Meath; Category E (7-8 years): Laoise McDonald, from The Paint Box, Barna, Galway; Category F (6 years and younger): Ciara Ward, St Malachy's PS, Castlewellan, Co. Down; Category G: Conor Marley, St Gerard's School and Support Services, Belfast.