This year marks a special anniversary for the Gibraltar Heritage Trust as it marks the 30th year of their open air, live painting competition.
The Trust has been hosting this annual painting competition since 1990 and the aim of the competition has always been to bring attention to heritage sites in Gibraltar.
Through the competition the Trust has encouraged participants to take a closer look at the history that surrounds them on a daily basis and through artistic media.
The competition has proved very successful with many artists returning each year, schools and clubs frequently participating, as well as new artists taking part.
One particular outcome from the project is the archive of artwork that the Trust has acquired.
Through the competition 30 years of paintings depicting Gibraltar are now kept by the Trust.
For example, in 2001 paintings of John Mackintosh Square shows a very different street scene with a raised public square and the Larios fountain taking centre stage.
The competition has also celebrated areas of significant works carried out on heritage sites such as the 2016 competition at the Northern Defences and 2017 at Wellington Front.
Despite the name ‘painting competition’, all traditional forms of media are accepted, sketching, pencils, paints, and even more unconventional materials such as textiles – anything goes as long at the outcome is a physical piece.
Every year an exhibition of entries is held displaying all artworks submitted and guest judges are invited to select the winning artworks.
This year for the 30th anniversary there will be a special exhibition with a selection of artworks from the past 30 years, spanning 30 different historical sites of interest throughout Gibraltar.
This year’s competition entries will also be on display and theme is ‘A view of the Rock’ and will need to be painted from the vantage point of Coaling Island and the small boats marina.
“Views and vistas are an important part of our heritage, as much as the historical building themselves and it is important to maintain iconic lines of sight to our old town, Tower of Homage and other historical sites such as the nature reserve and our Cathedrals and churches,” the Trust said in a statement.
In addition to the exhibition, the anniversary will also be commemorated through the Trust’s popular annual Calendar.
The 2020 calendar will depict 13 images from The Trust’s archive of artwork over the last 30 years.
“There are some well-known artists that have taken part in our competition over the years such as Christian Hook and Leslie Gaduzo, but the competition attracts all levels of artistic talent, with many attending on the day for the atmosphere and a family experience against a backdrop of healthy competition,” the Trust said.
This year’s competition will take place on May 11 full details and rules can be found via the Trust’s website www.gibraltarheritagetrust.org.gi.
First prize in the adult’s category is £1000, kindly sponsored by Gibraltar Cultural Services.
Other prizes are a combination of cash and vouchers for the Junior and Children’s categories.
The ‘David Gladstone Prize’ has been awarded since 2012 to the most promising artist and is chosen across the age categories. There is no participation fee for entering the event.
The exhibition will take place at the GEMA art gallery from Friday, May 24 to Friday, May 31 and will be free and open to the public.