Winners of the Rotary Club of Plymouth Young Artist of the Year competition 2019

Duru Tanir from Plymouth College and Ashlyn Watts and Isobel Battley from Devonport High School for Girls have each been awarded first prize for their respective age groups in a ceremony held at Plymouth College of Art for the Rotary Club of Plymouth’s Young Artist of the Year 2019 competition.

For the second year running, thanks goes to The Clemas Trust, as students from the Quay Partnership of specialist schools participated in the competition, with prizes awarded to students from the Brook Green Centre for Learning as well as Longcause Community Special School.

Judged by Rotarian and architect Graham Steen and Liz Evans, Pre-Degree Subject Leader in Art & Design at Plymouth College of Art, the Rotary Club of Plymouth’s annual competition for young artists has celebrated the wealth of creative talent from across the city's secondary schools for over 20 years. An exhibition of the students’ work was displayed in Plymouth College of Art for the week of the awards ceremony.

Duru Tanir, the Stage 4 First Prize winner, said: “I didn’t actually know I was entered into the competition. My teacher Miss Wright put me forward, so it was such a surprise to win! I want to thank her and my teacher Miss Sullivan for their support in assisting me in this project. They have both made such an impact on my art.”

“I’m from Turkey and actually here on a swimming scholarship so art isn’t my first passion, as athletes often don’t have much spare time! This has definitely inspired me though, as I’m now thinking about doing media studies at university. Creativity is definitely in my genes, as my Dad works in media. He’s my biggest inspiration.”

“My piece is made from acetate and wooden frames, which I took three days making, getting all the measurements right. It was so hard! Obviously, it was worth it in the end though!”

Open to all students in secondary education across Plymouth, the Young Artist of the Year competition has three categories: Years 7-9, Years 10-11, and sixth form. Acting as a showcase of budding creative talent across the city and an opportunity for young artists to network with active members of the art world, the awards ceremony this year also featured an inspirational talk from robotics expert Dr Mario Gianni, called “Can We Teach Robots to Paint?”

Graham Steen, Judge and Rotarian said: “This competition is such a great opportunity for so many children across Plymouth to display their art. We were overwhelmed with the amount of work at such a high quality and I was hugely impressed with their skills. It’s truly uplifting.”

Liz Evans, Pre-Degree Subject Leader in Art & Design at Plymouth College of Art, said: “It has been my pleasure to judge this year’s Young Art Prize, and to celebrate the artistic talent across Plymouth. The work on display shows such a range of skills and commitment, and it was such a difficult task to choose our prize winners as the standard of work was so high. My thanks go to the Rotary Club of Plymouth and the schools for supporting this prize, and of course to all the students for making such wonderful work.”

Martin Allen, President of the Rotary Club of Plymouth, said: “We’re lucky in Plymouth to have a strong tradition of encouraging our artists, and the Rotary Club of Plymouth is pleased to continue this by supporting young artists from secondary schools here. It’s important to keep fostering everything that’s great in the art that these young people produce.”

Students from a variety of schools across Plymouth participated, including Devonport High School for Girls, Eggbuckland Community College, Lipson Co-operative Academy, Plymouth College, Plymouth High School for Girls, Plymstock School and Plympton Academy.

The Rotary Club of Plymouth were so impressed with this year’s entries that they plan to bring some of the artworks to the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Young Artist Competition.

The full list of prize winners on the night are as follows:

Stage 3

First prize - Isobel Battley (Devonport High School for Girls)
Second prize - Xiaoying Zhen (Plymstock School)
Third prize - Theodora Bogoslov (Plymstock School)

Highly commended - Tilly Cameron and Jess Turner (Plymouth High School for Girls), Muhsinat Chowdhury (Devonport High School for Girls), and Amy Watkins (Eggbuckland Community College)

Stage 4

First prize - Duru Tanir (Plymouth College)
Second prize - Max Thomas (Plymstock School)
Third prize - Katie Baker (Devonport High School for Girls)

Highly commended - Tom Dixon (Plymstock School), Matilda Irving de Andres (Plymouth High School for Girls), Ranulph Marner (Lipson Co-operative Academy), Katy Miles and Johanna Sin (Plymouth College) and Isabel Tyler (Plympton Academy)

Stage 5

First prize - Ashlyn Watts (Devonport High School for Girls)
Second prize - Talia Sullivan (Plymouth College)
Third prize - Claudia Barbu (Eggbuckland Community College)

Highly commended - Emma Blaikie and Poppy Cowan (Plymouth High School for Girls), Ava Courtman, Victoria Russel and Talia Sullivan (Plymouth College), Lily Graves (Plymstock School), Cody Norris (Plympton Academy), Emily Sims (Lipson Co-operative Academy) and Katie Stroud (Devonport High School for Girls)

Quay Partnership Plymouth
Prizes, funded by the Clemas Trust, go to students of Brook Green Centre for Learning and Longcause Community Special School.