UNESAP exhibition finalists now on show at NERAM

Creative spirit: Oscar Blomfield in the maker space area in St Patrick's library on Wednesday. His work was one of those selected to be exhibited from the 550 artworks submitted by 40 schools entering the competition this year.
Creative spirit: Oscar Blomfield in the maker space area in St Patrick's library on Wednesday. His work was one of those selected to be exhibited from the 550 artworks submitted by 40 schools entering the competition this year.

A Walcha student has made the final cut in the UNE Schools Art Prize (UNESAP).

St Patrick’s Primary School Year 4 student Oscar Blomfield says he was surprised he made the final selection with his collage entitled ‘Splats and Sprays’.

Splats and Sprays by Oscar Blomfield

Splats and Sprays by Oscar Blomfield

“ I originally wanted to glue pencil shavings all over it but there wasn’t enough time so  I switched to using water colours,” he said.

The experimental work impressed the selection panel but Oscar was not convinced.

“I didn’t expect it to be in the finals,” he said modestly.

New artworks by school students around northern NSW who have entered their work into UNESAP will be displayed at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) in the 2017 Let's Hang It! exhibition.

The exhibition will be opened on Friday July 28 at a function at NERAM but Oscar won't be there to see who wins.

“I am going on a motorbike camping weekend so will see it on Monday,” he said.

“Even if I won it is five minutes of fun at the opening versus two days of fun with my dad.”

Oscar on his favourite mediums

“This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work of local art students and the talented teachers who inspire them in the classroom,” said Robert Heather, NERAM Director.

“There is growing recognition that students passing through the educational system get a significant boost from engaging their creativity and programs such as UNESAP provide a way for local students to get involved in the arts.”

“UNESAP is also a great opportunity for NERAM to work closely with our colleagues at the University of New England, the leading tertiary educational body in regional New South Wales and the four First Prize winning artworks will become a part of the UNE art collection and will be displayed around the University campus in Armidale.” 

“This is a colourful and vibrant selection of original artworks by kids from around our region and I think a lot of people will enjoy visiting the exhibition.” 

The annual Let’s Hang It! exhibition at NERAM has become a major event in the calendar of participating schools which this year includes entries from students in Walcha, Armidale, Alstonville, Black Mountain, Bundarra, Glen Innes, Grafton, Gunnedah, Inverell, Kentucky, Moree, Nambucca Heads, Nowendoc, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Uralla and Woodburn. 

This will be the thirteenth UNESAP competition which was originally established by the UNE Faculty of Professions (now the UNE Faculty of Education) in 2004 in order to promote interest in the visual arts amongst primary and secondary school teachers and encourage talented young artists around regional NSW.

Schools around regional NSW are invited to submit artworks on behalf of their students and this year there were 550 artworks from the 40 schools that sent works into the competition.  The final exhibited works are selected by a panel of experts and this year the winners in each category will then be chosen by local artistic duo Anna and Stuart Boggs, from Gallery 126 in Armidale.

The UNESAP exhibition will be on display at New England Regional Art Museum from 28 July until 13 August 2017.