The competition attracted a record 620 entries this year — some 50 more than last year. Just 62 of these paintings have been selected for the exhibition. 34 schools are represented altogether in the finals of the competition.
“The quality of work is very high this year and that made judging very difficult,” said Frances Alter, founder and director of the competition.
The guest judge in 2009 is Kerry Gulliver, a noted New England artist.
The University of New England School Acquisitive Art Prize (UNESAP) is held annually with the purpose of encouraging talented young artists in regional New South Wales’ schools.
In 2004, the Faculty of Education, Health and Professional Studies decided to support the teaching of visual arts and interest in creating visual art amongst students by establishing annual prizes and an exhibition of the best art entries at NERAM.
A number of previous finalists and winners have gone on to tertiary level art studies and have continued to win scholarships and prizes for their work.
The organising committee in the School of Education has been overwhelmed by its huge success and the growth in participation each year from NSW schools.
Any regional primary and secondary school in New South Wales can submit art works on behalf of its students. The work submitted must be two-dimensional but this includes digital art, photography, mixed media, assemblage or collage, painting (acrylic, oils, or watercolour), graphic work, 2D relief sculpture, jewellery and textile work.
Prizes are awarded for both first and second place in each of the four age categories (KG-2, Yrs 3-6, Yrs 7-9, Yrs 10-12). A major Australian wholesale art supply company, S&S Creativity Unlimited, have kindly sponsored second place prizes and art materials packages for winners.
The prize-winning artworks become part of the University of New England’s permanent collection and are mounted on a professional gallery hanging system throughout the second and third floors of the Education building at UNE.
Media contact: Dr Frances Alter (6773 3822) or Leon Braun, UNE public relations (6773 3771).