National Gallery of Canada announces top three works in nation-wide art contest for teens - So You Want To Be An Artist?

Artwork by winners and nine finalists are displayed at the Gallery until July 3.

OTTAWA, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) today announced the names of the winning artists in its second annual on-line contest, So You Want To Be An Artist? The contest is intended to enhance the enjoyment of art among young people all over Canada, while providing them with an opportunity to share their talent, ideas and opinions in a manner that helps them feel connected to the Gallery. A jury of experts met on June 4 to decide on the top three artworks among the 12 that had garnered the most on-line votes in April. The winner of the 1st prize is Paula Rayo of London, ON for her creation, The Memoirs of War (Souvenirs de guerre). Andrew An of Delta, BC has won 2nd prize for his work, Snowboarding (Planche à neige), and 3rd prize goes to Niki Watts of Hagensborg, BC for her submission, Thunder Dancer (Danseur-tonnerre).

More than 198 talented teens across the country, aged 16 to 19 years, entered the contest and submitted their creations, along with an artist statement, on line. The artwork covered an array of diverse and wide-ranging themes: identity and culture, justice and human rights, fighting prejudice, and preserving the environment. The winning entries, along with those of the finalists - which received a total of 37,948 votes during the designated period - are displayed at the National Gallery of Canada, on the Artissimo wall, until Tuesday, July 3. They can also be viewed on line at

All five members of the jury - comprised of Peter Simpson, Arts-editor-at-large for The Ottawa Citizen; Claude Deschênes, cultural reporter for Télévision de Radio-Canada; interdisciplinary artist Sonny Assu; illustrator/graphic designer Jonathan Cruz; and Kim Morgan, artist and NSCAD professor - were impressed with the young artists' creativity and talent. "The impressive level of creativity and technical expertise reflected in each artwork presented a challenge for the jury of experts in choosing the three winners," explained Gary Goodacre, NGC Manager, Youth and School Programs.

The other finalists are:

Gabrielle Brochu, Entends ma prière (Hear my Prayer) - Acrylic and India ink
Lysandra Coules, Strength Shield (Écran de force) - Photography
Dominique Cyr, If Only We Knew the Truth (Si seulement nous connaissions la vérité) - Oil
Jessica Desrochers, Le droit d'aimer (The Right to Love) - Charcoal, graphite and ink
Sophie Masson, C'est moi, just me ! - Oil
Sydney McKenna, Within Her Roots (Dans ses racines) - Ink, acrylic, watercolour and graphite on wood
Erica Phillips, Totem (Mât totémique) - Digital proof on canvas
Josh Tiessen, Overshadowed (Éclipsé) - Acrylic on fibreboard
Sofia Becerra, Portrait of Humanity (Portrait d'humanité) - Acrylic on canvas

Prizes Awarded to the Winners
The winner of the first prize, which includes round-trip travel to Ottawa, will be afforded an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes visit to the NGC and given a chance to meet professionals working at the Gallery. Paula Rayo will also have her portfolio reviewed by an expert and be awarded a $500 gift certificate for art supplies. Andrew An, the 2nd-prize winner, will receive a $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies and Niki Wattas, who won 3rd prize, will be given a $500 gift certificate, also for art supplies.

The Gallery thanks its sponsors
Gift certificates for art supplies for the top three winners were generously offered by the Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa. CanvasPop graciously provided vouchers to the top 12 finalists to reproduce their artwork on canvas.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the largest collection of historical and contemporary Canadian art in the world. It also maintains Canada's premier collection of European art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, major works of American, Asian and Indigenous art, as well as an internationally renowned collection of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is increasing access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. This is done by maintaining the largest touring art exhibition program in the world. For more information, go to


SOURCE National Gallery of Canada

For further information:

Media inquiries:
Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada


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