The winners of the Museum’s annual art competition were due to be announced back in January, however, the pandemic had other ideas and the ceremony had to be postponed until these recent school holidays.
On the back of what has been a very busy school holidays for the Museum team, the winners were announced at a ceremony held last Thursday 21st April 2022.
The theme of the 2021 competition was 'Resilience', and it seems the topic remains all too relevant as we look at the prospect of another COVID-19 impacted year. The shortlisted works on display in the Museum’s gallery show the hope of our next generation which should give all the adults out there the confidence that, at least in the eyes of our youth, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will recover from the impacts of these last few years.
The art competition has indeed become a staple of the Museum’s annual calendar of events, and everyone is incredibly proud of what has been achieved with the launch of this new program and exhibition, Last year’s winners have been exhibited in the Museum’s main exhibition space with many visitors commenting on the calibre of the works produced by the children. These works have been added to our permanent collection (this is located near the re-vamped Japanese exhibit) and we look forward to adding new works from the 2021 exhibit to this collection.
The First Place Grand Prize Winner, was presented at the conclusion of the ceremony by our CEO Belinda McMartin and event sponsor FRNSW, represented by Deputy Commissioner Megan Stiffler. The winner received a $200 Museum voucher, perpetual trophy, $100 art prize thanks to Officeworks Penrith and their artwork will become a part of the Museum’s permanent collection. For most artists, having a work of art in a museum is a life-long goal so congratulations to our young winner for achieving this feat already!
The winner was Sammy Burkhart (year 5) with his work “Back Burn” (#005). Sammy already has one work in the Museum’s permanent collection after he won second place and the CEO Award in the 2020 competition.
Sammy’s work is about: "I’ve been learning about the resilience of Indigenous Australian culture and the important traditional practice of back burning to help regenerate Australian ecosystems."
FRNSW were also represented at the event by Acting Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell, who presented the FRNSW Commissioner’s Choice Award. This year’s winner will see their artwork displayed in the emergency services academy at Orchard Hills and received a prize pack. The winner was Jasmine Kaur Multani (year 4) with her work “Resilience”. Her words accompanying her artwork were: "My art is about regrowth, that is what I think resilience is. Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and responsibility to pick yourself up. Jasmine was also a return winner having won her age category in the 2020 competition."
Name: Sammy Burkhart
Age: Year 5
Work: Back Burn
I’ve been learning about the resilience of Indigenous Australian culture and the important traditional practice of back burning to help regenerate Australian ecosystems.
Name: Layton Kear
Firefighters always keep us safe.
Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner's Choice Award
Name: Jasmine Kaur Multani
Age: Year 4
My art is about regrowth, that is what I think resilience is. Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and responsibility to pick yourself up.
People's Choice Award and Heritage Team Award
Name: Aarav Sharath Akshaya
Age: Year 4
Work: Mother Earth Send Angels (Frontline Workers)
Saving our earth/people/environment becomes highly important. God has given Mother Earth for our wellbeing and he has sent angel (frontline workers) to save us from natural calamities and viruses. Together we win. Big salute to Angel.
Name: Alyra Nicholls
Age: Year 1
Work: It Will Be Okay
It is showing fires, the koala’s home is burnt. There are new leaves and the sunlight is shining through showing that things will be ok.
Age Group Highly Commended
Name: Prabhnoor Kaur
Age: Year 6
Work: The Upsetting Move
The story my artwork is telling is about a family who lost their home due to the bushfires, but they were resilient and didn’t give up. Instead, they bought a new home and moved on after the big change in their life.
Name: Gurkirat Multani
Age: Year 5
My story is about before and after resilience. I believe that resilience is accepting your new reality and building up to it.
Name: Diya Rachel Mathews
Age: Year 4
Work: My Family Makes Me Resilient
During the pandemic I felt sad and bored because I could not see or play with my friends. But the activities and things I did with my family helped me to pick myself up. My picture shows the things that made me feel sad and how my family helped me to be resilient.
Name: Orlando Taing
Age: Year 3
Work: Burnt Homes
This art is about rebuilding your house after it got burnt down. Plants are growing again and animals are returning home.
Name: Diya Vinoth Kumar
Age: Year 2
The frontline workers are trying their best to fight against COVID day and night for the world and people.
I look forward to overseeing the growth of this competition and welcome children to start preparing their entries for the 2022 event. In a nod to recent events, our theme will be “Floods” and let’s hope 2023 doesn’t see a repeat of the 2021 and 2022 floods here in Penrith or across NSW.
To get a closer look at the winning artworks and the rest of the shortlisted artworks, click here.
Take a scroll through all of the award winners from the ceremony.