Young artist at Limerick school gets the chance of her dreams

Young artist at Limerick school gets the chance of her dreams

Erin's entry in the Zurich Young Portrait Prize will hang in the National Gallery for three months

A PORTRAIT painted by a young Abbeyfeale student will shortly hang in the National Gallery in Dublin for three months for all the world to see.

And early next year, it will move, along with 19 other paintings, to the Crawford Gallery in Cork to go on display for a further three months.

The artist Erin Welch was just 15 and a pupil at Coláiste Ide agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale when she painted the portrait of her youngest sister Brennagh and submitted it for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize. Now, Erin has been shortlisted by a panel of external judges and the paintings of all 20 finalists across four different age categories will be displayed in the Millennium Wing Studio from October 5.

It was a visit to the National Gallery with her art class to see the adult Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition which prompted Erin to enter the new Zurich Young Portrait Prize competition. This is a new competition initiated this year and aimed at artists under 18.

For her portrait, Erin, who lives in Kilmorna, used water colours and colouring pencils and worked on it over two and a half days. And she was pleased that her sister Brennagh liked the finished work.

She was delighted when news came through that she had been shortlisted and her long-term plan is to go to art college after school.

On October 8, the finalists in each category and the overall winner will be announced at a special reception at the National Gallery which will also be attended by Erin’s mother Mary and her three sisters, Teghan, Keearagh and Brennagh, all of whom like art as much as Erin.

“We are thrilled,” Mary Welch said. “It’s really exciting.”

Erin’s art teacher Keith O’Rahilly said. “Erin is an outstanding student and before winning this competition has amazed us all here with her skill and talent in art and design.

“We are very proud of this recent achievement and I have no doubt Erin Welch will be a well known artist in the near future.”

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