The Young Archie Competition has been run and won in Coffs Harbour, with kids from across the region awarded for their emotive and creative portraits of loved ones.
Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery’s Ashleigh Frost, was ecstatic with the entries received from kids aged 5-18 years, showing skill and emotional maturity well beyond their years. The portraits showcase the varied faces of the Coffs Coast ranging from parents and siblings, to best friends and teachers. Each portrait tells a story of the young artist’s relationship to a person important to them.
“We were blown away with the diversity of the styles that really showed the way the students were looking and responding to their chosen subjects,” explains Ashleigh.
“As the entries came in it was really emotional to get a little glimpse into children’s worlds and what was important to them. Evident across many of the works was a response to COVID including adopting a dog, spending time with grandparents and activities at home. We also saw some self-portraits with students reflecting inwardly on their own qualities.”
Coffs Coast Young Archie winner Arlia Portus Keen, has attended the Young Archies in Sydney four times and said it inspired her to enter. Arlia has always loved art-making and shares her advice for other kids who want to try their hand at portraiture.
“Even if you don’t like it, you kind of just have to finish it because it might end up looking good and it doesn’t matter if it looks really realistic, it just has to show emotion.”
Judging the creations were local Artist and Educator, Tori Donnelley, Art Therapist, Emma Gentle, and Tiffany Townsend, from the official sponsor, ANZ Coffs Harbour. ANZ provided a $50 cash prize to each of the award winners and Coffs Central are also sponsors of the exhibition.
All portraits entered into the Young Archies will feature on the walls of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Culture Hub in Coffs Central from January 22 to March 6, right alongside the prestigious Archibald Prize 2019. A who’s who of Australian culture, featuring portraits of celebrities, artists, politicians and sportspeople.
The Young Archie 2019 award winners for the Coffs Coast are: Ava Gallagher for 5-8yrs; Gabrielle Badger for 9-12yrs; Arlia Portus Keen for 13-15yrs; and Ally Cork for 16-18 years. Highly commended awards go to Audrey James, Evie Henderson, Jude Moore, Tanisha Stainsby, Rory Osmond, Isabella de Roy-Blair and Kristabella Badman.
Visit the Coffs Coast’s Young Archie exhibition alongside the Archibald Prize 2019 at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Culture Hub in Coffs Central, January 23 to March 6, 2021.
Photos by: and the trees photography
To find out more visit facebook.com/CoffsHarbourRegionalGallery