Heart-warming success for student art prize winners

Young artists Wildheart 2022

A South Australian Sturt Pea, Banded Anteater and Ruby Crested Mushrooms were just a few of the winning artworks of the inaugural WildheART Student Art Prize.

From Cairns to Logan, nearly 500 participants were welcomed by young Queensland artists, with 10 winners announced on Saturday 17th September at the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden.

The incredible talent of 40 finalists and winners is showcased at the Arts and Ecology Center in this stunning exhibition showcasing our unique Australian plants and animals.

Entrants were invited to submit an artwork depicting native flora, fauna and fungi of Australia, with a special category for endangered species.

The veterinarian, artist and judge of the WildheART competition, Dr. Amber Gillett, from the Sunshine Coast, said the art award was a huge success.

“It was a challenge to choose the winners from the incredible group of young finalists,” said Dr. Gillett.

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“Congratulations to all winners, finalists and participants. I loved seeing your beautiful artwork featuring our native plants and animals.

“Art competitions like the WildheART Student Art Prize are a great opportunity to celebrate the stars of our natural ecosystems and get kids involved in environmental issues.”

Mrs. Denise Lindon, Acting Director of Environmental Operations for the Sunshine Coast Council, congratulated all the student contributions.

“One winner was selected from each age category in all three age divisions, with $3,000 worth of prizes split among them – and it was tough competition,” said Ms. Lindon.

“So much focus, time and effort has gone into each piece – the dedication is inspiring.

“And the talent shown is incredible. Some of the artists were younger than eight years old.

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“This art award is a great opportunity to nurture young talent and raise awareness of Australia’s native plants and animals.

“I encourage everyone to go to the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden and see the finalists’ work on display.”

WildheART Student Art Prize finalists will be on display at the Arts & Ecology Center at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden daily from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through Sunday, October 3. CLOSED September 22nd. Admission is free.

Visit the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens website for more information.


Category Best Flora and Mushrooms:

8 years and under winners: Grace C (South Australian Pea)

School Winner: Art Farm Studios (Baringa)

Winners under 13 years old: Shaya M (Ruby Dome Mushrooms)

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School Winner: Nambour Christian College

Winners under 18 years of age: Lilli B (Leratiomyces ceres)

School Winner: Meridan State College

Best Fauna Category:

8 years and under winners: Anya A (sooty owl)

School Winner: Kedron State School

Winners under 13 years old: Imani D (Kookaburra)

School Winner: Burnside State High School

Winners under 18 years of age: Thea-Bella T (Australian brush turkey)

School Winner: Queensland Home Education Unit

Best Endangered Species category:

8 years and under winners: Eli D (Numbat (Banded Anteater))

School Winner: Paintbox Art School (Buderim)

Winners under 13 years old: Maito T (Pigmy Possum)

School Winner: Art101 Studio (Brisbane)

Winners under 18 years of age: Jazmyn G (Green and Gold Bell Frog)

School Winner: Matthew Flinders Anglican College

Placeholder: Lilly C (13 years and under) (stick insects various species)

School winner: Maleny Gymnasium

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