WESTSIDE art student Zulaika Vallance claimed 1st prize and £1000 at this year’s Young Art Competitive exhibition.

The exhibition was opened yesterday by Minister for Culture, John Cortes who had presented 15 awards to the young participants.

A total of 25 artists from school years 9 to 13 and older sent in 60 art pieces varying from sculptures, paintings and drawings.

Sara Rumford won 2nd Aquagib Prize with her piece ‘Into The Water 1’ and was awarded £500.

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AWARDS: Recipients with GCS, Ministry of Culture and Kishin Alwani Foundation

The Kishin Alwani Foundation gave two awards, one to David Llamas for his piece, ‘Shells’ and the other to Grace Macniven for her piece, ‘The Process’.

Macarena Sánchez Yugue took home The Arts Society Sculpture Award for her piece, ‘Dresspresso, What Else.’

Vallance also took home a highly commended award, which was given to nine other talented artists.

The exhibition is available for the public to see as from February 26 until March 7 2020 at John Macintosh Hall.

Vallance’s painting, ‘How People With Dwarfism Were Represented In The 1600s,’ took inspiration from Diego Velázquez’s work, who made multiple paintings of dwarfs during the 17th century.

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FIRST: Vallance with Minister Cortes

This year’s competition was judged by local Sebastian Rodriguez who praised Vallance’s ‘mature’ approach.

“The first piece in particular, I had no doubt in my mind that it was the winner from the first moment I saw it,” said Rodriguez.

“I think it was very mature how it’s painted.

“Its title ‘How Dwarves were perceived in the 1600s’ is very telling of how dwarfs are perceived now in the media and the comedic role that they play,” he continued.

“I also really enjoy how the artist looked at the differences between then and now on the subject.”

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DWARFISM: Vallance next to her award-winning painting

The Olive Press asked Vallance how she was feeling and what drove her to produce her art piece:

“I feel amazing, but at the same time I don’t feel like it’s actually real,” said Vallance.

“I think it’s such a cool achievement to know that a lot of people appreciate your art and the message behind it.”

“For my A Level art I needed to do a coursework project and I could choose any topic to base it on.

“I chose something that I was really ignorant about, and that was ‘abnormalities’,” the 17-year-old told The Olive Press.

“I found this artist back in the 1600s called Velázquez who portrayed people with dwarfism who worked in royal courts in Spain.

“It was not in a mocking way like how a lot of TV does now, but as confident people.”

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