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2021 Young Archie competition winners announced

31 July 2021

Images L–R: 2021 Young Archie winner (13–15 years), Jacqueline Qin, My sister; 2021 Young Archie winner (9–12 years), Luanda Lucia Perlstone Monroy, My Hulk brother.

Images L–R: 2021 Young Archie winner (13–15 years), Jacqueline Qin, My sister (detail); 2021 Young Archie winner (9–12 years), Luanda Lucia Perlstone Monroy, My Hulk brother (detail).

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is delighted to announce the winners of the ninth annual Young Archie competition, a nation-wide portrait challenge encouraging children and young people to unleash their creativity.

Inspired by Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award, the Archibald Prize, which is celebrating 100 years in 2021, the Young Archie competition invites children and teenagers aged five to 18 to submit a portrait of someone who is special to them and plays a significant role in their life.

The 2021 Young Archie competition winners for each age category were announced during a special livestream presentation watched by finalists this morning. The winners are:

More than 2100 entries from around Australia were received in the 2021 Young Archie competition, which were selected by guest judge, Sri Lankan born Sydney-based contemporary artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, and Art Gallery of NSW family programs manager, Victoria Collings.

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran said: ‘The Young Archie competition represents an energetic and diverse range of works from young people from around the country.

‘These artists are all special. They have used materials creatively, genuinely and fearlessly. I was looking for a special kind of fearlessness when selecting this year’s finalists. The winning works are valiant combined with emotion, humility, joy and observation,’ said Nithiyendran

A two-time Archibald Prize finalist (2019, 2020), Nithiyendran is also the subject of Johnathan Dalton’s 2021 Archibald Prize portrait, Ramesh and the artist Ramesh.

Images L–R: 2021 Young Archie winner (5–8 years), Thevan Basnayake, Me; 2021 Young Archie winner (16–18 years), Charliese Allen, Momasito.

Images L–R: 2021 Young Archie winner (5–8 years), Thevan Basnayake, Me; 2021 Young Archie winner (16–18 years), Charliese Allen, Momasito

Part of the family program for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2021 exhibition at the Art Gallery, the Young Archie competition is exhibited alongside the three prizes and is seen by thousands of visitors each year.

Art Gallery of NSW deputy director and director of collections Maud Page said the Young Archie competition is a wonderful opportunity to support the next generation of artists.

‘The exhibition encourages young people from across Australia to explore their creativity, originality and self-expression, and it’s an absolute joy to see the breadth of entries this year! The Young Archie competition is inclusive and family-friendly that is a highlight on the annual calendar,’ said Page.

The Young Archie competition is proudly supported by presenting partner ANZ.

ANZ Group Executive Institutional Mark Whelan said: ‘I’d like to congratulate all four winners of the 2021 Young Archie competition. This prize provides an opportunity to profile our up-and-coming artists and nurture Australia’s best budding portraitists. ANZ is very proud to continue supporting the arts community in Australia through the 2021 Young Archie competition.’

The four winners each receive a cash prize of $200 from ANZ, an art pack from S&S Creative, a family pass to a paid exhibition at the Art Gallery and an Archibald 21 catalogue. Each of the remaining 36 finalists receive an art pack from S&S Creative, a cash prize of $50 from ANZ and an Archibald 21 catalogue.

The 2021 Young Archie exhibition is free and the 10 finalists from each age category are scheduled to be on display at the Art Gallery until 26 September 2021. The 20 artworks that received an honourable mention were displayed at the SH Ervin Gallery in The Rocks alongside the Salon des Refusés until 15 August 2021.

All 2021 Young Archie finalists and honourable mentions can be viewed online.

Explore the exhibition online with a 360-degree immersive experience of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2021, including the 2021 Young Archie competition.

In line with public health orders, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is temporarily closed to the public. Exhibitions may be adjusted or cancelled subject to changes to public health advice and guidelines.

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