A secondary school student and her teacher have both been shortlisted for a prestigious art prize, beating thousands of other applicants to make it into the final running.
Izzy Wright and her fellow Year 12 students at Springwood High School were encouraged to take part in the Holt Festival competition by the school’s head of art Lee Eveson, who, as a painter himself, also decided to enter.
Izzy has been shortlisted for the Sworders Art Prize, which is aimed at talented young artists aged between 16 and 23, and awards the winner £750, plus a commission-free exhibition at a new contemporary art space, called The Gallery, in Hull.
Meanwhile, her teacher is on the shortlist for the Sir John Hurt Art Prize, which carries a £2,000 winner’s cheque, with the winning artwork exhibited at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.
“The Holt Festival is a prestigious event in the arts calendar, and they get thousands of applications for their art prizes from across the country,” Mr Eveson said.
“This year, I decided to enter for the first time, and encouraged our Year 12 artists to do the same, as this was an opportunity for them to start that professional process.
“I am delighted that Izzy and I have both been selected, more so for Izzy, as this is the start of an amazing career for her. As head of art, I am passionate about two things – giving students an amazing experience in the classroom, and getting them to think and work like professional creatives.”
Izzy’s artwork is titled ‘No Means No’, while Mr Eveson’s is ‘Three Year Old with a Box of Crayons and a Ballpoint Pen’, the name of which he said was inspired by an online comment made about his work.
Springwood is a member of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, and has seen growing numbers of its students studying art-based subjects.
“Art is culturally important within the school,” Mr Eveson continued, “with many students taking art, photography and fashion at A Level. Most of them will go onto university to study subjects such as fine art, illustration, animation, photography, fashion, and visual effects for film and television.”
The winners of the Holt Art Prizes will be announced at the Holt Festival on Sunday 24 July, during a ceremony at Adrian Hill Fine Art in Holt, to which Izzy and Mr Eveson are invited.
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