Popular art prize sends young artists wild

A competition that encourages young artists to go wild is calling for entries.

School-aged children from across Queensland are encouraged to submit their realistic native Australian plant or animal masterpiece to Sunshine Coast Council’s Wild HeART Student Art prize.

Students can enter their artwork into one of three age categories for a chance to win a share of $3000 in prizes before entries close on Sunday, July 16, 2023.

Sunshine Coast Environmental Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the competition aimed to foster young talent while creating awareness of Australia’s native plants and animals.

“It’s time for school students from across Queensland to get creative and put their talent to paper,” Cr Suarez said.

“Whether it’s an eastern curlew, brush-tailed possum or a bunya pine – entries just need to realistically portray a native Australian animal or plant.

“This year children are encouraged to be creative in their search to find an Australian species to illustrate. 

“Look for a species that you did not know was in your backyard or your favourite place, or one that you know very little about so you can explore and learn something new and amazing about the species you choose.” 

Top tips for young artists:

  • be careful to choose a native Australian species, not an introduced species or pest.
  • photographs from the internet may be used as reference material for the artwork but please do not copy another artist’s artwork.

Cr Suarez said the popular art prize received more than 500 entries from Cairns to Logan in 2022.

“Last year’s entries showcased some incredible Queensland talent,” Cr Suarez said.

“Good luck to all the entrants this year. I look forward to seeing your creations.”

There are three age categories – 8 years and under; 13 years and under; and 19 years and under.

The Wild HeART Student Art Prize is generously supported by Friends of Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens, Friends of Mary Cairncross Association, Qld Wildlife Artists Society Inc. and Sunshine Coast Council.

All entry instructions, forms, eligibility criteria and conditions are available under “see and do” at botanic-garden.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au  or by searching “Wildheart Student Art Prize”.



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