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Young Artist at Barnsley Academy Shortlisted in International Art Competition
Janine Astley
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Young Artist at Barnsley Academy Shortlisted in International Art Competition

March 2022

Sian, a talented young artist in Year 11 at Barnsley Academy, is in the running to take home the top prize at United Learning’s International Art Competition after her work was selected from 57 entries for the final shortlist.

The art competition, now in its 14th year, challenges students aged between 15 and 18 across the Group to draw, print or paint an original piece of artwork and submit a high-quality digital photograph of the piece. Those students who finish in the final four are given the opportunity to have their work displayed at Tokyo’s celebrated International High School Arts Festival, whilst the winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to Japan to see their piece exhibited in person.

Having progressed through the first two rounds of judging, Sian is one of ten students across the country to see her work be shortlisted. Sian’s piece, titled ‘Deep in my thoughts’ is a hyper realistic self-portrait in pencil, which depicts Sian from a bird’s-eye view with her hair falling behind her. It demonstrates her attention to detail, with every individual strand of hair drawn with immense precision.

Speaking of her piece, Sian said:

“The piece that I entered into the competition has a very special meaning to me – I created it last year as a way of processing the grief I felt after my grandma passed away.

“I am thrilled to have been shortlisted amongst such exceptional talent from across the country and especially to have my work presented alongside A Level students. I'm so excited to be in with a chance to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tokyo.”

Naveed Khan, Principal at Barnsley Academy, said:

“I am delighted that Sian has made it to final ten. Her artwork is incredible and we are so proud of her. What is particularly pleasing is that Sian’s work has been selected amongst a very high calibre of artwork, including work submitted by A Level students. We have our fingers crossed that she wins the competition and gets the opportunity to travel to Tokyo. Irrespective of the outcome, this a great achievement and one I’m sure she will remember for many years.”

All ten pieces will now go before United Learning’s Executive Team and a panel of professional artists who will have the difficult task of voting for their favourite artwork. The winners and three runners-up will be announced via social media on 17th March.

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