A portrait painting competition between 70 artists, primarily fresh graduates, organised by the National Council of Arts and the National Art Gallery was held on Thursday.
The first prize was awarded to M Hussain with a cash prize of Rs30,000 while Faisal Nawaz won the second prize and received Rs20,000 and the third prize went to Amadud din who received Rs10,000.
“We did not set an age limit but we encouraged fresh graduates, Masters students and emerging artists. We advertised through social media and the Internet and the response has been overwhelming. We received applications from all across Pakistan,” an eminent artist and organiser of the competition Mussarat said.
Hajra Mansoor, one of the three judges of the competition, told The Express Tribune that such competitions are very encouraging for students and artists. “Art has the ability to reduce society’s frustrations and enhance talent and channelise the energies of the youth and therefore such events should be encouraged,” she added.
Acclaimed artist, Farhat Gul, who was also judging the competition, said that she was delighted to see such perfection coming from fresh graduates and emerging artists. “The decision is a tough call because every artist has done such a marvellous job, which also makes one realize the abundance of talent in our youth”.
Every contestant of added a special kind of individuality to their work that made it stand out from the rest.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, acclaimed artist, Mansoor Rahi said that the standard of work produced by the contestants and students make it seem like they belong to the best art colleges of the world. “This speaks volumes about the quality of art education in Pakistan. Art institutes like NCA and Jamshoro are doing a brilliant job imparting art education and producing very fine artists. All these artists have done a very good job,” he said.
While awarding the winners with the cash prizes, Director General PNCA Shabbir Ahmad said that he was surprised to see the talent and skill of the students. “I was unaware that today’s art students have such fineness, maturity and brilliance in their work and the credit goes to their teachers for producing such fine artists”, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.