Sofia Bouqdir from Plymstock School, along with Rachel Zanetti and Izzy Hicks from Devonport High School for Girls, have each been awarded first prize for their respective age groups in a ceremony held at Plymouth College of Art for the Rotary Club of Plymouth’s Young Artist of the Year 2018 competition.
Additionally, this year for the first time thanks to support from The Clemas Trust, students from the Quay Partnership of specialist schools participated, with prizes awarded to Sydney Terrell from Brook Green Centre for Learning, plus Toby Vogel and William Birch from Longcause Community Special School.
Judged by Rotarian and artist Graham Steen and Matias Shortcook, Associate Dean of Pre-Degree at Plymouth College of Art, the Rotary Club’s annual competition for young artists has celebrated the wealth of creative talent from across the city's schools for over 20 years. An exhibition of the student work was on display in Plymouth College of Art for the week of the awards ceremony.
Sofia Bouqdir, the Stage 5 First Prize winner, said: “Winning this prize has made me feel really validated. I didn't actually submit my work myself, my teacher sent it in for me, but it is so encouraging to receive this prize, and it has motivated me to paint more.
“I love studying the human form, but I have struggled with painting portraits, so this has made me feel like giving portraits another go. I am looking to pursue a career in animation; I love classic 2D animations, like Ghost in The Shell, and The Thief and the Cobbler.”
Open to all students in secondary education across Plymouth, the Young Artist of the Year competition has three categories: Years 7-9, Years 10-11, and sixth form. Acting as a showcase of budding creative talent across the city and an opportunity for young artists to network with active members of the art world, the awards ceremony this year also featured an inspirational talk from Nigel Hurst, Head of Contemporary Arts at The Box and former director and CEO of London's Saatchi Gallery.
Addressing students and their families, Nigel Hurst said: “The Rotary Club Young Artist of the Year prize is testament to the huge amount of work that art departments do, both in Plymouth and across the UK, and the amazing inspiration and encouragement that teachers give their students. This competition is a wonderful platform for talent across the city, and I'm really impressed by the calibre of the artworks.”
Matias Shortcook, Associate Dean Pre-Degree at Plymouth College of Art, said to the students: “People judging competitions sometimes say they wish that they could give everyone a prize, and it’s true. I feel the same way. Because what you have done is something very brave. You’ve made something that never existed before, and had the bravery to show it to the world. Many artists never make it this far. You should all be proud of your work."
Phil Paynter, President of the Rotary Club, said: “The Rotary Club of Plymouth is very pleased to support young artists from secondary schools in Plymouth. We are especially pleased after running the competition for over 20 years that we are now able to extend the competition to the Quay Partnership of specialist schools in Plymouth."
Students from a variety of schools across Plymouth participated, including All Saints Church of England Academy, Devonport High School for Girls, Eggbuckland Community College, Lipson Co-operative Academy, Marine Academy Plymouth, Notre Dame School, Plymouth College, Plymouth High School for Girls, Plympton Academy, Plymstock School, Plymouth School of Creative Arts and Stoke Damerel Community College.
The full list of prize winners on the night are as follows:
First prize - Rachel Zanetti (Devonport High School for Girls)
Second prize - Cameron Rush (Plymouth School of Creative Arts)
Third prize - Freya Lavis (Devonport High School for Girls)
Highly commended - Ines Hannon (Plymouth High School for Girls), George Hayward (Plymouth College) and a group from Devonport High School for Girls.
First prize - Izzy Hicks (Devonport High School for Girls)
Second prize - Daisy Rushton (Plymouth High School for Girls)
Third prize - Ben Wright (Plymouth College)
Highly commended - Katie Baker (Devonport High School for Girls), Flora Dewar (Notre Dame School), Talia Sullivan (Plymouth College), Casey Fernandes (Plymouth High School for Girls) and Tess Harland (Plymouth High School for Girls).
First prize - Sofia Bouqdir (Plymstock School)
Second prize - Olivia Prideaux (Devonport High School for Girls)
Third prize - Yujin Choi (Devonport High School for Girls)
Highly commended - Phoebe Hodge (Devonport High School for Girls), Lauren Bonner (Eggbuckland Community College) and Victoria Salter (Plymouth High School for Girls).
Quay Partnership Plymouth
Quay prize - Sydney Terrell (Brook Green Centre for Learning)
Quay prize - Toby Vogel (Longcause Community Special School)
Quay prize - William Birch (Longcause Community Special School)
Highly commended - Adam Sharp (Longcause Community Special School)