Fynn, Jakob by Rika Jammer (13-15 year olds)

The Young Archie competition invites budding artists between the ages of 5 and 18 to submit a portrait and runs concurrently with the Archibald Prize which my cousin Colin Morris attended recently and very generously photographed the work of some of the finalists.

There are four age categories: 5-8 year olds, 9-12 year olds, 13-15 year olds and 16-18 year olds.

The competition has been operating since 2013 and this year (2019) there were over 2100 entries: 33% in the 5-8 year category, 44% in 9-12 year, 17% in 13-15 year and 6% in 16-18 year. Of the total, 74% were from girls. (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)

So let's have a look at this prodigious talent.

Grandma's garden by Maya Butler de Castro (8 years)
    I chose to draw Grandma because I love her. Grandma has a beautiful 
    garden with vegetables, flowers, trees, lizards, possums, birds and 
    insects. Grandma loves taking care of her garden and waters her plants 
    every day. I like to help her water them. I love Grandma’s backyard 
    because there is lots of space to run around, play and go for walks. 
    Sometimes we walk up to see the neighbour’s chickens and we feed them 
    grass. Maya Butler de Castro (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)
My awesome dad by Jack Lee (9 years)
     I drew my awesome dad, who would do anything for me. When I 
     was younger I really wanted to go on a fairground ride. However, 
     no one wanted to come on with me. I begged and begged my dad and 
     he finally agreed to come on with me. This image shows the moment 
     right before we were going on the ride. I captured this moment  
     because I think that my dad was trying to show his strong and 
     courageous side and was not wanting to show his nervous and fearful 
     side to me. Jack Lee (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)
My brother Tim with frosty eyelashes by Nikalai Sakalouski (11 years)
    This is my younger brother Timofey. We visited our grandparents 
    in Europe and the weather there was very cold and there was even 
    some snow. My brother got frost on his eyelashes. He was very cute! 
    Nikalai Sakalouski (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)
Matt Tran by Jaylan Yang (11 years)
    I chose to paint my friend Matt Tran because he is a nice 
    and caring friend who has helped me academically and mentally. 
    Matt Tran (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)
The most important person in my life by Daniel Lee (12 years)
     The person I chose to paint is my brother Nathan. I chose him 
     for this portrait because he has made my family happier and his 
     smile has supported me during hard times. In my portrait, I drew 
     him doing his two favourite things, which are eating and going to 
     the park. My brother is the most important person in my life and 
     I love him very much. Daniel Lee (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)
Cindy's happiest moment by Erika (Min-Hsuan) Tsai (12 years)
     The reason I painted this picture is because my cousin Cindy 
     looks most happy when she’s holding a baby. Cindy loves babies 
     and she wants to have six babies when she grows up. This picture 
     makes me smile. Erika (Min-Hsuan) Tsai (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)
Johnny by Lily Norman (15 years)
     Johnny is a shy, unassuming yet colourful character, well 
     known in our community as a passionate environmentalist and 
     advocate for getting kids into the garden. He is generous 
     with his time, sharing his knowledge on how to live more               
     consciously. He has spent many hours in our garden teaching 
     my sister and me, along with all the neighbourhood kids, about 
     native and edible plants and how to nurture our land. Lily Norman    
     (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)
Rosebud by Evie McEachern (16 years)
     I chose to depict my younger sister Rosie at age three. Her 
     sassy toddler personality was fun to capture in this portrait. 
     She is now 14, and still has the fiery red hair and attitude 
     to match. Nevertheless, she is adored by everyone around her,
     most of all me. Evie McEachern (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)

The painting by Rika Jammer at the start of the blog has as its descriptioin:

     This is my brother. This moment was a special one, his eyes 
     tell you the story. I think a person’s eyes can hide and still 
     reveal so much. His eyes here showed the fun, playful times we 
     had as children, but also the bitter, sullen moments we somehow 
     haven’t regretted. We think differently, but we are still one, we 
     stick together, and one day this showed. We were riding through 
     a forest and stopped to take a rest. He looked up and there it 
     was – the moment. With a swift kick of the pedals, we were back 
     on the move. (artgallery.nsw.gov.au)

I hope you hve enjoyed the exhibition of Australian Artistic Talent that I have shown you this week through the Archibald, Sulman, Wynne and Young Archies.
And a special thank you to my cousin Colin Morris who photographed the works during his special viewing of the finalists.