In search of tomorrow’s artists

Published 16 June 2015

Around 705 budding school-aged artists have entered this year’s University of New England Schools Acquisitive Art Prize (UNESAP).

Dr Frances Alter reviewing a submitted artwork

Dr Frances Alter reviewing a submitted artwork

The competition celebrates emerging artistic talent across Northern New South Wales, and this year entries were received from 39 schools.

The artists are aged from five to 19 and their entries ranged from drawings to photographs to mixed media presentations.

UNE academic and founder of UNESAP, Dr Frances Alter, said the competition has provided recognition and exposure for emerging artists since 2004.

“Art needs a public audience, it’s meant to be presented beyond the classroom or stuck on the fridge at home. This competition inspires schools, teachers and students by presenting their work in a fabulous public art space where it can hang alongside such valuable paintings as Mosman’s Bay by Tom Roberts,” Dr Alter said.

A panel of judges will now assess all the works of art and reduce the field to 60 finalists, whose arts will go on display in the Let’s Hang It! exhibition at NERAM next month.

The competition is made up of four categories based on school level namely Infants (Kindergarten – Year 2), Primary (Years 3-6), Junior Secondary (Years 7-9) and Senior Secondary (Years 10-12).

The winning artworks in each category will become part of UNE’s permanent art collection and all finalists will receive a certificate of recognition.

The Let’s Hang It! exhibition will debut at NERAM on Friday 17 July with an opening and prize-giving ceremony from 6:00pm.

The winning artwork from each category will be announced by guest judge, renowned artist James White.

For more information on UNESAP go to