Talented Dundalk teen wins National Gallery Young Portrait Prize

Tia Clarke


Tia Clarke


Talented Dundalk teen wins National Gallery Portrait Prize

17-year-old budding artist Cara Pilbeam has won a top portrait prize in The National Gallery of Ireland for her incredible pencil-drawn artwork "Eire: Study of a Young Woman". 

Cara, who is from Dundalk, won first place in the 16-18 age group category in the first-ever Zurich Young Portrait Prize hosted by the National Gallery in Dublin. 

ABOVE: The winners pictured with their prizes 

The talented local teen said: "This work is inspired by what it means to be a young woman in Ireland today, on the threshold of her future. I am layered with fabric from different countries that represent our modern-day, multi-cultured Ireland. I love traditional aspects of portraiture in works by the artists John Lavery and Johannes Vermeer but I wanted to create a portrait with contemporary elements."

This inclusive new art competition launched this year, with the aim of fostering and supporting creativity, originality and self-expression in children and young people. The Prize accepted entries from young people, up to the age of 18, of all abilities, from across the island of Ireland.

20 finalists were selected in four categories (ages 6 and under, ages 7-11, ages 12-15 and ages 16-18), chosen by the National Gallery's panel of judges which will be displayed in the Millennium Wing Studio from 5 October.

Overall winners were be awarded a personalised wooden box of high-quality art materials, specific to their choice of material in their portrait, and a cash prize of €500. 

The exhibition runs until 5 October 2019 at Millennium Wing Studio in The National Gallery, Dublin. There is free admission 

The show will then travel to Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, in January 2020.