A record number of artworks from primary and secondary students in northern NSW and from as far west as Menindee have been submitted for this year’s UNE School Acquisitive Art Prize (UNESAP).
Almost 600 works from 36 schools have been submitted, and UNESAP 2011 organiser Jennifer Butler says it is ‘marvellous’ to see the continuation and growth of what began as an initiative of the University’s School of Education.
‘Schools have submitted a wide range of works with an exciting mix of materials and media,’ Ms Butler said. ‘Children from kindergarten to year 12 have contributed, and the works display a wonderfully free and expressive approach to art making.
‘We have works from drawing and collage to crayons, painting, mosaic and photography,’ she added. ‘It is gratifying to see the response of schools to the encouragement of expression in art making, and fascinating to see the variety of perceptions which children in each age category see as art.’
With entries now closed, a team of selectors have sorted the works and selected for judging a range of about 60 in the four categories of infants, primary, junior secondary and senior secondary. This year’s guest judge, Michelle Schouten, is an artist working in the medium of glass and a classroom teacher with 22 years experience.
All finalists will be invited to attend the announcement of prizes and the ‘Let’s Hang It!’ exhibition opening night, to be held at the New England Regional Art Museum on Friday, July 22nd, at 6pm. Cash prizes up to $300 for the senior secondary prize will be awarded, with the runner up in each category also receiving a prize.
Acknowledgment of support for this is due to S & S Creativity Ltd, who have contributed to the prize money each year. This year they will also be putting together art packs for the first prize winners to encourage further exploration of different materials.
The winning entries will be framed and become part of the permanent collection of artworks held by the University of New England and displayed on the University campus. The ‘Let’s Hang It’ exhibition featuring the winning artworks will be exhibited at NERAM until August 14th.
The Faculty of The Professions at UNE has been training primary and secondary teachers to promote interest in the visual arts for many years and, in 2004, decided to support this further by establishing prizes and organising an annual exhibition of our most talented young artists’ work. With UNESAP, coordinated by Dr Frances Alter, now in its eighth year with a growing number of schools in regional NSW participating, UNE has handed over its management to the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM).