Originality, Imagination & Talent on Display at Children's Art Exhibition & Competition

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
2 Dec 2014

First Prize in Year 5 went to Kate Cheun of St Francis de Sales Primary, Woolooware

The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP said he had been greatly impressed by the works of art and written reflections by Catholic primary school students when he officially opened The Christmas Story Children's Art Exhibition displayed in The Crypt of St Mary's Cathedral.

Archbishop Anthony said it was appropriate that the Exhibition, now in its eighth year, opened on the First Sunday of Advent, which is the season when the Church waits in joyful hope for the coming of the Infant Jesus.

"I am overjoyed our young students are reflecting on and praying about the Word of God," he told more than 400 packed into the Crypt including the Year 5 and Year 6 winners and finalists whose artworks will remain on display in the Crypt until Epiphany which begins on 6 January.

The Archbishop also paid tribute to the teachers and catechists at Catholic primary schools in Sydney, Wollongong and Bathurst as well as catechists at the state's public primary schools for guiding and helping "our students develop such a hope-filled vision of the future."

The Year 6 First prize went to Bronte O'Shannessy from St Patrick's Primary, Sutherland

This year an estimated 15,000 children from well over 120 primary schools participated in the Archdiocese's annual Christmas Story Children's Art Exhibition and Competition. RE teachers then submitted the three best Year 5 entries and the three best Year 6 entries and a short list of 900 were then sent to Sydney where a panel of judges led by John Charadia, Creative Arts Advisor for Sydney's Catholic Education Office (CEO) selected the 90 artworks and reflections which are now part of this year's Exhibition.

On Sunday the winners, runners up along with those that were highly commended were announced. Each child then came forward to receive prizes of art materials valued at between $100 and $400 from the Archbishop, who was assisted by Anthony Cleary, Director of Religious Education and Evangelisation with the CEO.

Kate Cheun of St Francis de Sales Primary School took our first price in the Year 5 section for her painting of the Virgin Mother and the Christ Child which she based on the scripture passage from Matthew 1:22: "The Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel which means "God With Us."

Zoya Huang from St John the Evangelist Parish Primary, Campbelltown took out the Artistic Achievement Award

First prize in the Year 6 section went to Bronte O'Shannessy from St Patrick's Primary, Sutherland for the painting, "The Sacred Moment," which joyfully depicts the moment when the angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary she has been blessed with a Holy Child.

Zoya Huang from St John the Evangelist Parish Primary School, Campbelltown received the Competition's annual Artistic Achievement Award for a remarkable artwork using quilled paper of different shapes and sizes to tell the story of the Visit of the Magi.

The Spirit of Christmas Award was won by Jessica Hollow of St John Bosco Primary, Engadine with a three dimensional artwork using spray paint, wood and polymer clay to create the Star of Bethlehem and small clay figures of the Nativity.

Winner of the inaugural Archbishop's Choice Award, which was personally judged by Archbishop Anthony, went to Deanna Burton from St Pius Primary School, Unanderra for her richly coloured work taken from Luke 1:28 and entitled "On the Day of the Annunciation the Heavens Opened."

Jessica Hollow of St John Bosco Primary at Engadine won the Spirit of Christmas Award for her 3-Dimensional Star of Bethlehem

Deanna's artwork along with "A Guiding Light", the powerful painting of the Journey of the Magi by Kitty Hoyne, which won this year's Executive Director's Acquisitive Award, are now headed for Rome where they will spend the next 12 months as part of the permanent art collection at Domus Australia, the Australian pilgrims "home away from home."

"One of the great contributions of the Catholic Church to humanity over the centuries has been the inspiration and support it has given to the development of art. The Christmas Story Art Exhibition and Competition continues this great tradition of beautiful artworks inspired by faith," says Robert Haddad, Head of the New Evangelisation at Sydney's CEO. "The Competition and Exhibition have become a regular feature in the annual calendar of Sydney Catholic schools and schools in the Wollongong and Bathurst Dioceses and enable our young people to showcase their talents and engage with Scripture and Catholic tradition in a creative and imaginative way."

The Christmas Story Art Exhibition will be on display daily in the Crypt of St Mary's Cathedral until 6 January 2015, which marks the start of Epiphany.

Deanna Burton from St Pius X Primary Unaderra won the covetted Archbishop's Award