07 Jul 2022

Limerick student crowned overall winner of prestigious children's art competition

Limerick student named as overall winner of prestigious children's art competition

Artist Dan Killackey pictured with his prize-winning work 'Isolation'

A UNIVERSITY of Limerick student has been chosen overall winner of this year's Texaco Children's Art Competition, taking first prize in the senior 16-18 years age category. 

Dan Killackey's winning work, for which he receives a prize of €1,500, is entitled ‘Isolation’ and is a detailed portrait study in coloured pencils of his granduncle Mick.

Chairman of the judging panel, Gary Granville, Professor Emeritus of Education at the National College of Art and Design, described Dan’s piece as "a short story in visual imagery."

“In his image of a man and his cat, Dan has captured so many aspects of contemporary life in Ireland. Through understated reference to some resonant icons – the discarded Covid face-covering on the table, the classic Sacred Heart image in the far corner, and the old TV set in the background, we can locate a man we all seem to know,” Professor Granville said. 

No stranger to the Competition, Dan, now aged 18, won a Special Merit Award in the 16-18 years age category in 2020 for a portrait of his grandaunt entitled ‘Margaret’.

The youngest of three children, Dan first discovered his passion for art in primary school. He has continued to develop his talent throughout his teens, both at Junior and Leaving Certificate level.

Now studying product design at University of Limerick, his love of art continues to grow and he has already received a number of commissions, which he looks forward to working on over the summer months. 

His inspiration for his prize-winning portrait came to him whilst on a visit to his granduncle Mick’s home in North Tipperary.

“The cat jumped onto the table and we took a photo of it. I realised afterwards that it would make for an interesting portrait study,” he explained. 

In further success for Limerick, second prize in this year’s 14-15 years age category went to Emma O'Brien (age 15), a pupil at Crescent College Comprehensive S.J., for her artwork entitled ‘History Makers (Rachael Blackmore/Minella Times)’.

Emma’s work (pictured below) is described by Professor Granville as “a piece that captures the great surge of female sports heroes, whilst giving us a window into the lives of young people in 2022”. 

In addition, three Limerick winners each won Special Merit Awards for artworks that Professor Granville said, “displayed high levels of skill and creativity.”

They were Emma Comber (16), from Catherine McAuley School, Limerick; David Mac Aodha (13), from Coláiste Íde Agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale, and Emma Spain (17) from Scoil Mhuire Agus ĺde, Newcastle West.

The Texaco Children’s Art Competition is popularly regarded as the longest-running sponsorship in the history of arts sponsoring in Ireland, with an unbroken history that dates back to the very first Competition held in 1955.

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