Could the faces hanging in the Museum of Art and Culture, yapang, hide the talents of our next great portrait artist?
There’s every chance, according to Lake Macquarie City Council Visual Arts and Public Programs Leader Joanna Davies, who helped whittle more than 320 entries to this year’s Young Archie Lake Macquarie competition down to 130 finalists.
The competition aims to showcase the work of artists aged 5-18, challenging them to create a portrait of someone special to them, who plays a significant role in their life.
“We were blown away by the quality of work,” Ms Davies said.
“It’s obvious we have a wealth of collective talent in our budding artists. I just hope this can be nurtured so that these young people reach their potential – not just as high-profile artists, but as creative individuals who can enjoy the many benefits of a creative practice.”
The Young Archie exhibition is on display from today – a precursor to the arrival of the showpiece Archibald Prize 2022 Regional Tour in April.
“The Young Archie exhibition provides a platform for up-and-coming young artists to display their work to a broad audience in a professional gallery setting,” Ms Davies said.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity, and for most of them it will be the first time they’ve seen their works hung in a gallery, open to the public.”
Ms Davies said the results were diverse, from lifelike renditions of friends and relatives to abstract paintings exploring deeper themes of relationships and love.
“It’s a joy to experience such an explosion of imagination in one place,” she said.
Judging will be spread across four age categories: 5-8, 9-12, 13-15 and 16-18.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said she was looking forward to joining artist Jane Lander in judging the entries.
“Art and the arts bring so much to our community,” she said.
“I’m pleased we can support, encourage and nurture young artistic talent through exhibitions and competitions like this.”
MAC yapang will host an opening celebration for the Young Archie exhibition on Sunday 26 March, including a youth market, live music, a gallery tour and the announcement of age category winners.
There will also be art-making activities for all ages outdoors in the adjacent Sculpture Park.
Go to mac.lakemac.com.au