By Michelle Crean
An 18-year old Kerry student from Cahersiveen, has been announced as the winner of this year’s 66th Texaco Children’s Art Competition.
Casey Etherton has brought distinction to the county having been chosen overall winner taking first prize in the senior 16-18 years age category.
The Leaving Certificate student from Coláiste na Sceilge received a prize of €1,500 for his ‘detailed and carefully executed’ composition in oils entitled ‘Kevin In The Pink’, a portrait of his neighbour Kevin who lives close to Casey’s home in Caherdaniel.
Aged 17 when he undertook and submitted his entry, Casey has the distinction of winning first prize in the senior Category A age group in addition to the honour of being chosen overall winner of the competition.
Final Adjudicator and Chairman of the judging panel, Professor Declan McGonagle described Casey’s work as “an exceedingly lifelike and sensitive painting in which the subject is caught in a thoughtful moment”. Through it, Casey reveals a skill that Professor McGonagle said “is found in the way he used light and brush marks to convey his subject so successfully”.
Youngest of two children, Casey hails from an artistic family – his father Nicholas is in television production and his mother Amelia is a writer and editor, while two of his grandparents have had distinguished careers in areas of creativity, one as an author and another in art education.
Studying under the guidance of Ms Fiona Holly, his art teacher at Coláiste na Sceilge, Casey refers to himself as one who has ‘always been drawn to art’. Inspired by the techniques of Rembrandt, he points to portraiture as a particular interest and cites pencil and charcoal as his most frequently used mediums. His ambition is to further his interest in art through studies at third level with the aim of building a future career in animation.
Casey and his fellow winners had to compete against the challenge from over 25,000 young artists from across Ireland who took part in the competition.
Interrupted this year by the onset of COVID-19 which forced a delay in bringing the competition to a conclusion, Mr Twohig noted “due to restrictions, activities normally undertaken during April and May, such as the introduction of winners to the media and the formal presentation of prizes, had to be set aside on this occasion. As a result, prizes will be delivered by hand without the possibility of an awards ceremony,” he said.