Talented Hetty scoops art award three decades after her father
Like father like daughter. A young woman has scooped top prize in the Texaco children's art competition - three decades after her father won it.
Visual artist Hetty Lawlor (17), from Kilmeena, near Westport, Co Mayo, was picked as the overall winner, for her piece 'Gráinne,' a portrait study of a young neighbour which topped the 16-18 years age category.
Hetty explained she was inspired by her father, Jimmy, and his success as a 16-year old student when, in 1984, he too won the overall first prize in the competition.
"His support, and the hope that I could follow in his footsteps, is one of the main reasons why I persisted in entering the competition," she said.
The young woman comes from an artistic family. Following his win, her father went on to become a professional artist, while her mother Phyl designs carpets and rugs.
Her sister Anna studies animation at college in Dún Laoghaire.
Judges at the competition said her piece was a captivating portrait, beautifully composed, perfectly executed and life-like in its use of colour, tone and texture.
"Knowing of the many renowned and highly talented artists who have won prizes in the competition down through the years, I feel hugely honoured to be among them," Hetty said.
Her prize included a cheque for €1,500 and a visit to Tokyo in August at the invitation of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture.
There she will be guest at the 19th International High School Arts Festival in which her winning artwork will be exhibited at the National Arts Centre.