This year marks the 10th Annual Young Archie competition which has been running alongside the Archibald prize in the NSW Gallery. Celebrating Artists between the ages of 5 and 18 and giving these fledglings an opportunity to exhibit in a prestigious Australian Gallery.
The Artworks that are exhibited range from loose imaginative drawings to hyperrealistic portraits that will leave audiences baffled and question the age of the artist.
Although the exhibition is now over, the show can still be viewed online through the gallery website > https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/art/watch-listen-read/virtual-visit/young-archie-2022/
Unlike the Archibald prize which requires artists to paint a public figure or self portrait, the Young Archie Competition removes this barrier for entry and asks its participants to make an artwork of someone special to them. To me this results in a selection of artworks that are far more sentimental than that of the Archibald prize, a more free, open and emotional body of work results.
This year's Young Archie competition brought in a record number of entries, over 2400! This is all the more impressive that Welight managed to place 5 of our students as finalists in this competitive environment. As the Judge Victoria Collings put it, "Ultimately we picked works that really spoke to us and showed personality, sensitivity with their use of materials and just a unique kind of imaginative response,", Her statement rings true as the Artworks selected of our Welight winners (Nelson Yan, Eason Wang, Eric Fan, Jeremy Zhang, Joyce Wang) touch on a wide range of materials, styles, colour choices and compositions, in this sense, the Judges did a great job at selecting a diverse pool of Artworks to display the broad array of approaches the children are capable of expressing themselves through.
Congratulations to the above students for their remarkable achievement and congratulations also to all of our other students who completed portraits of their loved ones in our classes. You all deserve a round of applause as portraiture tends to be one of the hardest subjects an artist can approach, we try to challenge our students at Welight, as its the most difficult things that tend to be the most rewarding.