A SCHOOLGIRL who won the top prize in this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition could become “one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future,” said an art professor.
Shania McDonagh (16) of Mount St. Michael Secondary School, Claremorris, Co Mayo, created a pencil portrait entitled Coleman’ which won international acclaim.
The portrait will be exhibited in Japan this summer.
Judging panel chairman Professor Declan McGonagle said she showed exceptional skill and ability.
This year was the 60th anniversary of the competition, and the awards ceremony was attended by President Micheal D Higgins.
A portrait of poet Seamus Heaney, painted by special merit’ entrant David Monaghan of Gorey Community School, Co Wexford, was presented to the President by Eric Fisher, president of Valero Europe, which markets Texaco in Ireland.
Shania McDonagh was the overall winner as well as winning the 16-18 years category. Winner of the 14-15 years category was Diarmuid McKenna of Killina Presentation Secondary School, Tullamore.
Other first-prize winners included Jem Fitzpatrick of Rathgar, Orla Rooney of Coldwood National School, Co Galway, Ava Henson of The Harold School, Glasthule, Amy Doran from Dundrum, and special needs winning artist was Ryan Hazley from Hillsborough, Co Down.