THE function space at North Ballarat Football Club was overflowing last week as hundreds of kids, along with their parents and guardians eagerly anticipated the announcement of the 2018 Ballarat Childrens Art Awards.
Author of Stop Doing That!, Simon Carrol, was this year’s judge and he selected 20 finalists from each year level from a huge field.
“It was a real honour to have the chance to see so much beautiful art work at the one time,” he said.
“What stunned me was the level of creativity that was shown, especially by the younger artists.
“Obviously some of the pieces stood out and were of really high quality but I really appreciated the efforts of all of the entrants and their bravery in sharing snippets of their lives with the community of Ballarat.
Founded by Margie Balazic, the awards are open to all schools in the Ballarat region, with submissions made at Bolton’s Office National.
This year’s theme was ‘my story’ and the event saw 1400 entries across all year levels.
“Each year it grows by about 25 per cent,” said co-organiser Katherine Henderson. “It’s more and more and more, it’s crazy.”
From the 20 shortlisted artists, three are then selected for first, second and third place.
Mr Carrol said the enormity of the task was a challenge, but something he enjoyed.
“Attempting to sift through 1400 pieces of art across seven categories initially seemed like a pretty daunting task but it was actually really rewarding,” he said.
One of the by-products of running a year art competition for schools is that the organisers get to see young artists grow and develop over time.
It’s something that didn’t escape Ms Henderson.
“This year I found it really kind of moving,” she said. “You get attachments as you watch them grow. I wish we had photos each year.”