OUTSTANDING: Iluka artist Jenny Johns won the Lewis Ellem Most Outstanding Art Award on Saturday night for 'Over Woody Head'.
OUTSTANDING: Iluka artist Jenny Johns won the Lewis Ellem Most Outstanding Art Award on Saturday night for 'Over Woody Head'. Contributed

These talented Clarence artists are going places

APPLAUSE rang out from the Grafton High School MPC on Saturday night as our best and budding artists were awarded.

Organiser Cassandra Palmer said the Go Art exhibition was getting "bigger and better every year” and was looking forward to the next event.

She said the competition was "accessible” and a chance for emerging artists "who haven't put themselves out there” to do so.

The atmosphere was buzzing with students and artists alike enjoying the creativity and music performed by former Grafton High students Madelyn Ellem and Ellie Young.

Grafton Regional Gallery director Niomi Sands judged the exhibition and said it was difficult to pick a winner with so many "exceptional entries”.

The Lewis Ellem Most Outstanding Art Award went to Iluka artist Jenny Johns for 'Over Woody Head' and the Most Outstanding Student Award went to Grafton High student Nikki-Lee Hanna-Plunket for 'Spirit'.

Grafton High Student Nikki-Lee Hanna-Plunket for 'Spirit'.
Grafton High's Nikki-Lee Hanna-Plunket earned the Most Outstanding Student Award for 'Spirit'. Contributed

But it was Grafton High student Tash Clausen who impressed on the evening, taking home first prize in her year group for photography and sculpture and second prize for painting.

Organiser Cassandra Palmer said it was a fantastic evening and was proud to see her students praised for their creative works.

Tash Clausen two out second prize for painting in the year 11-12 category.
Tash Clausen won second prize for painting in the Year 11-12 category. Contributed

"It brings a lot of joy and encouragement,” she said.

"I taught (Nikki-Lee) in Year7. Looking at her all grown up now, I'm just so proud of her.”

The Young Writers Award was picked up by Axel Verekyen in the primary category with a moving short story, dubbed the "best entry” seen in the prize so far by the judges.

Eden Annesley won in the secondary age group.

Among the artists awarded in each section were Julianne Gosper, Kade Valja, Stu Murphy, Curt Edwards, Annabel Green, Kane Minogue, Joy Cooksey, Pam Birrell and Pam Fysh.

Student winners included Ella Freelander, Issi English, Mack Brennan, Aimee Unitt and Ronin Johns.