Surprising results for 2017 Les Peterkin Prize

The enormous talent of Tweed and Byron primary school students will again be celebrated by the annual Les Peterkin Portrait Prize, on show at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre from 22 September - 4 December 2017.

The Prize, one of the Gallery's most popular exhibitions, has again attracted an enormous number of entries and participating schools this year.

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Working on the theme Surprise!, primary school students sketched, collaged, photographed and painted images that capture their unique character and depict an unexpected moment in their lives. Students explored an experience that frightened, excited or even shocked them.

First place winners: Tahmina Barikai (5-7 Years) from Byron Community Primary School, Nathan Singh (8-10 Years) from Murwillumbah Public School and Nilon Jordan (11-13 Years) from Tweed Valley Adventist College.

This year's submissions were a true indication that art in Tweed schools is alive and well, prize coordinator Marianne Galluzzo said. "The high standard of works submitted displayed great imagination in subject matter and in the use of materials. This is why I would like to congratulate every child who submitted an entry, because everyone showed a genuine and extremely talented attempt to produce a work of art."

All 37 award-winning and commended artworks will be professionally framed and featured in the exhibition. Another 180 outstanding works will be displayed in folios for the duration of the exhibition.

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The creativity and effort of every child who entered the competition greatly impressed the 2017 panel of judges: local artists Arna Baartz and Tamsin Ainslie, primary school teacher Lurleen Badger, Tweed Regional Gallery staff representative Molly Green, Tyalgum Public School representative and artist Melissa Howarth, and education support officer Ronalda Combo.

The Prize is named after legendary Tweed artist and art teacher Les Peterkin, and made possible by the financial support of Tweed Shire Council,Tyalgum Public School, Friends of the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc., Derivan, School Art Supplies and Bunnings.

Tweed Regional Gallery will host the official opening and prize-giving ceremony on Thursday 21 September, one of its biggest events of the year. Children, family and friends are invited to enjoy the antics of roving magician and balloon animal creator Shorty Brown and watch high school student Ella McDermott create live caricatures for six lucky ticket winners from 3.30pm-4.30pm.

At 4.30pm, the exhibition will be officially opened by Tyalgum Public School Principal Janelle Cloherty, before Les Peterkin joins Ms Galluzzo and Friends of the Gallery President Penny Hall to announce the winners.