Budding artists easel-ly brush aside the opposition to win cash prizes
Budding young artists from Northern Ireland have brushed off the opposition to claim prestigious prizes for their work.
Helen McRandal and James O'Neill caught the eye of the judges with their unique pieces in this year's Texaco Children's Art Competition.
Eight-year-old Helen, a pupil at St Michael's Primary School in Belfast, claimed first prize in Category E of the all-Ireland competition for her work entitled A Normal Day at the Bird Bath. In doing so she won £175.
In Category A, James's The Royal Fisherman was a favourite for the judging panel.
The Friends School, Lisburn pupil (17), won £850 for finishing a close second to overall winner Simon Minias.
Simon, a fifth year student at Gorey Community School, had spent some time looking at works by the 17th Century painter Anthony van Dyck before creating his first-prize-winning entry – an evocative grey graphite and white pencil drawing of his patient sister Sophie.
"I want to do something in the industry of arts and I thought it might be a good showcase," said Simon.
"I want to do concept art for games."
He intends to use the money to buy a MacBook computer to aid his computer design.
The awards were announced at a reception held in Dublin yesterday.
The Texaco Children's Art Competition, which has been running for 59 years, is the longest running sponsorship in the history of arts sponsoring in Ireland.
The prizes will be presented to all 126 winners at a ceremony in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin, in May.