TYDAVNET ART STUDENT’S WINNING PORTRAIT TO BE EXHIBITED IN TOKYO
Michael Fisher Northern Standard Thursday 4th June p.1/2
Art student Frances Treanor from Drumdart, Tydavnet, a neighbour of mine. who won this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition, will travel to Japan later this month to see her stunning self portrait exhibited in Tokyo. At the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin last Thursday, 18 year-old Frances was one of five Monaghan entrants to collect their prizes. She was presented with a cheque for €1500 by local TD and Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys. Frances is the first person from County Monaghan to win the overall prize in the 61 years of the competition. Minister Humphreys told the 126 prizewinners and their families:
“The very inventive work on display here today is expressive, colourful and uplifting. The attention to detail is amazing. It shows us just what is possible when young people work to fulfil their creative potential. Being involved in the arts can have a hugely positive impact on schoolchildren. Young people who are active in the arts have been shown to perform better academically and go on to lead fuller and indeed more creative lives,” she added.
The Minister paid particular tribute to Frances Treanor and said she was delighted to see the overall winner coming from her own county. Frances created her self-portrait using a single black Bic pen. She described the young artist’s piece as “incredible” and praised her painstaking attention to detail. “Your art is a labour of love for you”, she said. She wished Frances well on her trip to Japan to take part in an international exhibition. It will be hosted by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture in the Tokyo’s National Art Centre.
No doubt you will do Monaghan and Ireland proud, she told Frances, who was joined at the event by her twin sister Maeve, her neighbour and friend Helen Keenan from Drumcoo Woods, and her parents, Sean and Anne. James Twohig, Director Ireland Operations of Valero, the company that markets fuel in Ireland under the Texaco brand, also wished Frances well on her travels and said it would be a wonderful experience for her.
He praised all of the winners for their skill and enthusiasm and thanked the many teachers from schools throughout Ireland who had given their support to the competition throughout its 61 years. He thanked the judges, headed by the Director of the National College for Art and Design, Professor Declan McGonagle. Mr McGonagle said that it was a hard decision to choose a winner but he believed that Frances Treanor’s was the most impressive.
“What’s amazing is the effect which she’s produced. It’s quite remarkable when you look at it because it’s very hard to see how she got that effect with something as ordinary as a biro. It’s a demonstration of the skill, concentration, motivation, and commitment which goes into something like that,” he said.
Another Monaghan winner was 16 year-old transition year student at St Louis Secondary School Monaghan, Rachel McKenna from Scotstown. She received a special merit award for her entry called “The Script – Tired of Posing”.
In the younger age groups, there was a remarkable success by three pupils from the same school near Carrickmacross, Scoil Naoimh Éanna in Killanny. Sophia Goodman, aged 7, came third in the 7-8 years age category. She won a €125 art voucher for her entry entitled “The Nice Flowers”. In the same category, Kate Norton (7) who painted “The Cute Kittens” got €50 and an art box while Grace Conlon (6) got €30 and an art box for her work “Bird Tunes”. Both received Special Merit Awards.
Professor Declan McGonagle was assisted by a panel of judges including Dr. Denise Ferran (Artist & Art Historian), Eoin Butler (Artist & Lecturer in Visual Arts), Seán Kissane (Curator: Exhibitions, IMMA), Aoife Ruane (Director, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Drogheda) and Colleen Watters (Head of Learning & Partnership, Ulster Museum, Belfast).
The Texaco Children’s Art Competition is the longest running sponsorship in the history of arts sponsoring in Ireland – and popularly regarded as Ireland’s longest-running sponsorship of any kind. It has an unbroken history that dates back to the very first Competition held in 1955. This year, as has been the case throughout its life, it has been a platform on which young artists have had their talents recognised and a springboard on which many have risen to national and international prominence. Aside from giving students the space to give expression to their talent and skill, the Competition has focused a spotlight on the quality of art teaching in Irish schools and the importance that the educational establishment attaches to the subject of art education.
Past winners whose early interest in art and the arts may well have been encouraged by their participation in the Competition include artists Graham Knuttel, Robert Ballagh, Bernadette Madden, Dorothy Cross, fashion designer Paul Costello and former broadcaster and artist Thelma Mansfield. Other notable past winners include Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn TD (a four-times winner), PR guru and columnist Terry Prone, ICTU General Secretary David Begg, actress Jean Anne Crowley, musician Ethna Tinney, Trinity College Professor of Contemporary Irish History, Eunan O’Halpin and the late novelist Clare Boylan.