Renowned artist Robert Ballagh was in Drogheda on Tuesday evening to hand out awards in the fifth annual Louth Meath Education and Training Board Robert Ballagh art competition.
Among the big winners on the night were Karl Leonard from DIFE, Saoirse Reilly from Ardee Youthreach, Eve McArdle from Faughart CNS, Denise Burns from DIFE and Rojelle Rodrigues, also from DIFE.
The competition is open to all students and learners from across the LMETB’s 17 secondary schools, three post Leaving Cert colleges, three VTOS Centres, nine Youthreach centres and three community national schools.
Ballagh and Drogheda-based photographer Des Clinton share judging duties, with the latter picking the winners in a universal photography section which forms part of the awards. Around 120 people were in attendance at the Droichead Arts Centre for the event on Tuesday.
Ballagh, who is an artist, painter and designer and is considered by many to be Ireland’s great living artist, kindly lends his name to the main competition, as well as his time to perform judging duties and attend the annual awards. Speaking at the awards on Tuesday, he expressed his delight at the high standard of entries this year and that as a collection, the exhibition
of winners was a “feast for the eyes.”
He stated that the creative process was a great confidence booster and that submitting, winning, and having your work framed and put on show in a gallery, reinforced this confidence boost in the best possibly way.
In total, there are thirty winning entries on display now at the Droichead Arts Centre and all local schools are encouraged to visit the exhibition before the end of its run on March 13. Entry is free.
Cllr Nick Killian, Chair of the LMETB, told the assembled crowd that all entrants deserved to be complimented for the beautiful work on display. He also complemented their parents and teachers for their mentoring and encouragement.
Each winner received a prize of an Art Pack sponsored by Tara Art Supplies, while Dealg Design in Ardee framed all work which is now on display until March 13.