A teenager who already has her sporting skills down to a fine art is this year’s overall winner of the 65th Texaco Children’s Art Competition.
Naoise Hennessy from Craanford, near Gorey, Co Wexford, is already known to many as an all-Ireland medal winner and goal-scoring forward on the county’s under-16 camogie team.
She is now enjoying new-found fame as the overall winner of the art competition that attracted over 25,000 entries across Ireland.
Naoise’s winning art entry – Lifelines – is a portrait of an elderly lady delicately reproduced using watercolour pencils throughout.
Judges were impressed with how the 16-year-old captured the features and characters of her “extremely challenging” subject.
Naoise’s mother Marie said her daughter, the youngest of four children “loves art in all its forms”.
The teenager, “overjoyed” when told she was the overall winner, attributes her success to the guidance she received from her art teacher Eugene Lynch at Coláiste Bhríde in Carnew, Co Wicklow.
The chairman of the judging panel Gary Granville, Professor Emeritus of Education at the National College of Art and Design, said Naoise’s “truly lifelike and painstakingly executed work” was worthy of a place in any public gallery.
Naoise’s first prize in the senior 16-18 years age category is a cheque for €1,500 and an invitation from the International Foundation for Arts and Culture to visit Tokyo in August.
The teenager will be a special guest at the 20th International High School Arts Festival that will be held in Japan’s National Art Centre where her winning work will be exhibited.
Naoise and the 126 winners from seven categories will be presented with their prizes at a ceremony held in Johnstown Estate Hotel, Enfield, Co Meath.
Amihan Navarro won first prize in the 9-11 years category for her work entitled ‘Little Me’.
The other first prize category winners:
14-15 years: Nadia Stefaniak (15), Abbey Community College, Ferrybank, Co Waterford, for her work entitled ‘Colour Blast’
12-13 years: Lea Moloney (13), St. Joseph of Cluny, Killiney, Co. Dublin, for her work entitled ‘My Ouma’.
9-11 years: Amihan Navarro (10), Guardian Angels’ National School, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, for a work entitled ‘Little Me’.
7-8 years: Alfie Whyte (8), Cloughoge Primary School, Newry, Co. Armagh, for his work entitled ‘My Brother Charlie’.
6 years and younger: Laurie Hehir (6), Ennis Art School, Co. Clare, for her work entitled ‘Cow In Blue’.
Young artists with special needs: James Moonan (13), The Arthouse, Drogheda, Co Louth, for his work entitled ‘Old Friends’.
Fallon Murphy won second prize in the 6 years and younger category for her work entitled ‘Fallon’s Portrait’
Director of Ireland Operations for Valero, who market fuel under the Texaco brand, said there was a “groundswell of artistic talent” to be found among Ireland’s young people.
“Despite the numerous other attractions that exist today, it is extremely gratifying to know that our young people continue to show an enduring interest in art and to demonstrate their ability in the magnificent prize-winning entries,” he said.
The Texaco Children’s Art competition has an unbroken history dating back to 1955.
Past winners include Graham Knuttel, Robert Ballagh, Bernadette Madden, Dorothy Cross and fashion designer Paul Costello.