Seventy-three finalist artworks by school students from around northern NSW who have entered their work into the UNE Schools Art Prize (UNESAP) will be displayed at the New England Regional Art Museum in the 2019 Let’s Hang It! exhibition.
The exhibition will be opened at 6.00pm in the evening on Friday 2 August 2019 at an awards ceremony attended by students, parents, teachers and art enthusiasts celebrating the diverse artistic talents of the region.
“Let’s Hang It! Is one of the most anticipated and lively events in NERAM’s annual calendar,” said Rachael Parsons, Art Museum Director. “The opening event is always packed with young artists, and their families, who get really excited to see their artworks hung in the museum. The energy and enthusiasm is amazing and it extends to the general community, many visitors come to experience the emerging talent that is being fostered in the region.”
“UNESAP also acknowledges the vital role that arts education plays in student’s development. There is a lot of research that shows that arts-based education has an immense benefit to all students, not just the next generation of professional artists. The arts teach creativity, collaboration, confidence, cultural awareness and empathy and critical thinking, and these are attributes that are useful to everyone in a whole range of careers and life situations.”
“UNESAP has been developed through an on-going partnership with the University of New England 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 year is the sixteenth UNESAP competition which was originally established by the UNE Faculty of Professions (now the UNE Faculty of Education) in 2004 to promote interest in the visual arts amongst primary and secondary school teachers and encourage talented young artists around regional NSW.
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 Armidale, Ashford, Black Mountain, Bingara, Bundarra, Coffs Harbour, Coraki, Dorrigo, Grafton, Hernani, Inverell, Kempsey, Kentucky, Kingstown, Lawrence, Niangala, Nowendoc, Port Macquarie, Red Range, Scone, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Timbumburi, Uralla and Walcha.
“It is always wonderful to see all the entries come in from schools across the region. The continued enthusiasm for the program demonstrates that art is playing an important role in student’s creative development and that UNESAP is a vital program of celebration and inspiration,” Ms Parsons said.
Schools around regional NSW were invited to submit artworks on behalf of their students and this year there were 576 artworks from the 41 schools across the region that participated in the program. A selection panel of curators and educators took on the difficult task of selecting the finalist works and this year the winners in each category will be chosen by Myf Gullifer, the well-known artist from Walcha, and announced at the opening night event.
The UNESAP exhibition will be on display at New England Regional Art Museum from 2 - 18 August 2019. It has been made possible by the University of New England and sponsors S&S Creativity Unlimited.