A people’s choice award was announced as part of this year’s Young Art Competitive exhibition which was officially opened by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia on Tuesday evening at the John Mackintosh Hall.
21 year old Stephanie Yeo won the first prize – the Ministry of Culture Prize of £1000 – (No.74) for her work installation/sculpture called “Modern Identity”.
With a degree in Fine Arts from Wolverhampton this artist found she had an interest in geometrical shapes and how items work well within a space. Returning to Gibraltar she found she was a little lost as to what do next and decided to put this across in her own work.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia welcomed the large number of entries showing the high level of interest in art on the Rock.
“The high standard of works is something we can be proud of,” he told those present.
Anyone who visits the exhibition which is open daily until Friday 8 March can vote for their favourite work in this year’s show which has attracted 79 entries from 41 young artists. The winner of this award will be announced at a later date.
“The winning work is a modern sculpture/installation piece. This is what’s happening in the world today and why I liked it.”
These are the words of this year’s adjudicator, Spanish artist Jaime Velazquez, who is no newcomer to the Rock having exhibited his work last year on the Rock in a joint exhibition with local artist Gino Sanguinetti.
With a degree in Fine Arts Velazquez hails from Cadiz and his own work brings together painting, installation and photography, with strong social comment.
He was the winner of the 2017 Gibraltar International Art Competition and admits to having found a real commitment to the craft in the work of the young artists in this year’s show at the John Mackintosh Hall.
“The level of work here is excellent and I found it difficult at the time of choosing the main prizes because there is a lot here which is very very good,” he said.
He awarded the second prize in the competition, the Aquagib prize (£500), to Ethan Segovia for “Sour Taste” (No.41). The Alwani Foundation Award School Years 9 – 11 (£500) was won by “Lady at the Door” (No.28) by Yakira Gross. The Alwani Foundation Award School Years 12 – 13 (£500) went to Amanda Gingell Marin for “Mental Disorders” (No.25).
The Ministry of Culture Sculpture Award (£500) went to “Octopus” (No.45) by Nathan Parody.
The adjudicator told the Chronicle that at the time of making his choice he was very much aware he was dealing with the work of very young people with whom he had been greatly impressed.
“I wanted their work to tell me something and in many instances they did. Many of the works are of very good quality when you take into account the age range of these young artists but also it shows that there are good teaching skills behind it all.”
He commented on how it was evident these young artists had real vision and were very competent. “You can tell that they know what they are doing and are aware of what is happening in the world of art today. This is down to the teaching of art in the schools as well.”
11 works also received highly commended certificates: No. 1 Sasha Alexdottir “Fairwell, Childhood!”, No. 14 Oliver Canessa “Study for Okay There”, No. 21 “The Godmother” and No. 23 “Mother” by Joel Fernandez, No. 24Julian Gerada “When Life Gives You Oranges”, No. 26Amanda Gingell Marin “The Case of Lesley Anne Downey”, No. 30Matthew Guy “Retail Therapy”, No. 48 Julia Prudzienica “From Cartoon to Reality”, No. 58 Asadullah Shuja “Leon Wellstead”, No. 67 Zulaika Valance “Dead Street, Dead Locals”, and No.79 Mouetaz Ziani “Unfortunate Feared Soulless Mammals”.
The exhibition will be open to the general public until Friday 8 March, weekdays from 9am to 9.30pm.