Riddoch awards high school art prize

The inaugural Limestone Coast senior high school art award exhibition titled Calibre is now on display at the Riddoch Art Gallery with the major prize of $1000 awarded to 2019 Tenison Woods College graduate Max Crook for his work titled ‘Manifestations’. The award was presented at the exhibition opening held on Friday 31 January 2020.

Sponsored by the University of South Australia the exhibition and award aim to showcase the most creative and innovative work from high school students in the region and provides the community with an opportunity to celebrate local talent.

“This award represents our commitment to promoting and celebrating excellence within our community and aims to inspire our young people to continue being creative,” City of Mount Gambier Arts and Culture Development Officer Serena Wong said.

“We take this award seriously and wanted to demonstrate that with a significant prize.”

The exhibition features nine artworks and showcases young artists who are demonstrating their creativity, innovation, experimentation and risk taking.

Calibre shows the breadth of creative talent we have in our community, encompassing visual art, design, photography, performing art, media and creative art.

– City of Mount Gambier Arts and Culture Development Officer Serena Wong

The pieces were judged by UniSA Adjunct Senior Lecturer School of Art, Architecture and Design Linda Marie Walker and exhibition curator Serena Wong.

The winning piece features four functional masks. Each mask represents a series of emotions for the artist and are made from various materials including vinyl, polymer clay, ducting, computer wires, animal products, copper and fishing line.

“Manifestation is a well thought through work, personal and heartfelt. The materials are considered and varied and have been used to achieve particular effects,” Dr Walker said.

“The work references other well known practices, like wood-working, metal-working, and leather-working.”

To determine the prize winner local teachers were asked to nominate their top performing students in areas such as visual art, design, digital technology and integrated learning and elite performing arts/media.

“I was thrilled with the decision of the judges, winning this award will have a significant impact on Max as an artist and having the opportunity to show the work in a gallery is wonderful validation for young artists who put so much time and effort into their work,” Former Tenison Woods College visual art teacher Jane Van Eeten said.

In addition to the major prize University of South Australia has offered the award recipient a tour of the university and contemporary art studios and workshops.

Calibre is on display at the Riddoch Art Gallery until Sunday 1 March 2020 and entry is free.

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