Waterford student wins at Texaco Children's Art competition

Michael McAleer

14 year old Waterford student Megan Hogan won first prize in her category at the 68th Texaco Children's Art Competition.

Megan, who attends Gaelcholáiste Phort Lairge won in the 14-15 years category for her work entitled ‘3,168 Minutes of Reverie’. (see feature image of article).

Meanwhile Dan Killackey, an 18-year-old student at University of Limerick is the overall winner of this year's competition, taking first prize in the senior 16-18 years age category.


His winning work, for which he receives a prize of €1,500, is entitled ‘Isolation’ and is a detailed portrait study in coloured pencils of his granduncle Mick.

In choosing it as overall prize winner in the Competition, Final Adjudicator and Chairman of the judging panel, Gary Granville, Professor Emeritus of Education at the National College of Art and Design, described Dan’s piece as "a short story in visual imagery".

“In his image of a man and his cat, Dan has captured so many aspects of contemporary life in Ireland. Through understated reference to some resonant icons – the discarded Covid face-covering on the table, the classic Sacred Heart image in the far corner, and the old TV set in the background, we can locate a man we all seem to know,” Professor Granville said.

Youngest of three children, Dan first discovered his passion for art in primary school. He has continued to develop his talent throughout his teens, both at Junior and Leaving Certificate level. In 2020 Dan won a Special Merit Award in the 16-18 years age category of the Texaco competition for a portrait of his grandaunt entitled ‘Margaret’.


Now studying product design at University of Limerick, his love of art continues to grow and he has already received a number of commissions, which he looks forward to working on over the summer months.

His inspiration for his prize-winning portrait came to him whilst on a visit to his granduncle Mick’s home in North Tipperary. “The cat jumped onto the table and we took a photo of it. I realised afterwards that it would make for an interesting portrait study,” Dan explains.

Other prize winners this year were Anya Clarke-Carr (age 18), a pupil at Clarke Art Studio, Ratoath, who won second prize for her work entitled ‘My Mum at Work’. A previous winner, Anya also won second prize in the same category of last year’s Competition, third prize in the 14-15 years age category in 2019, and a Special Merit Award in 2020.

Anya Clarke-Carr's work entitled ‘My Mum At Work’.

Third prize went to Leah Massey (age 16), a pupil at Bloomfield Collegiate School, Belfast, for her work entitled ‘Mum's Sampler’. Previously, Leah won a Special Merit Award in the 14-15 years age category of the 2020 Competition.

Leah Massey's work entitled ‘Mum's Sampler’.

In the 12-13 years category, first prize went to Juthika Bhakta (age 13) from The Arthouse, Drogheda, for an artwork entitled ‘Dunluce Castle’.

Juthika Bhakta's artwork entitled ‘Dunluce Castle’.

In the 9-11 years category, first prize has been won by 11-years old Nicole Doherty, a pupil at Clarke Art, Ratoath, for her work entitled ‘My Shell Collection’.

Nicole Doherty's work entitled ‘My Shell Collection’.

In the 7-8 years category, first prize was won by 7-years old Clare student, Aidan Hehir, from Ennis Art School, for his work entitled ‘Gaming’.

Clare student Aidan Hehir's work entitled ‘Gaming’.

In 6 years and younger category – the youngest age group in the Competition – first prize was won by 6-years old William Glynn, from All Saints’ National School, Mullingar, for his work entitled ‘From Grandad's Garden’.

William Glynn's work entitled ‘From Grandad's Garden’.

In the category reserved for entries from young artists of all ages with special needs, first prize was won by 14-years old Zara Craig, a pupil at Ballyclare High School, Co Antrim for her work entitled ‘Little Flower’. A multiple previous winner, Zara won second prize in the same category last year, and Special Merit Awards in 2020 and 2019.

Zara Craig's work entitled ‘Little Flower’.

Belfast’s Royal Ulster Academy of Arts is hosting an exhibition of the top 126 winning paintings from this year’s Competition, running from May 31st to June 30th. Admission is free and the Academy is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-5pm.

In addition, the prize-winning artworks from four of thisyear's successful artists – Dan Killackey, Anya Clarke-Carr, Leah Massey and Emma O’Brien – have been selected by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) to exhibit at the prestigious 23rd International Arts Festival in Tokyo’s National Art Center in August.