Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Art prize recognises talent, hard work

Posted 31 May 2019

Acquisitive Art Prize 2019

Students exhibiting in Wesley’s 23rd Annual Acquisitive Art Prize gained real-world experience of the arts industry, and applied their skills in problem solving, critical evaluation and collaboration. 

The 2019 Annual Acquisitive Art Prize winner was Maya Coburn, a Year 12 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB DP) student from the St Kilda Road Campus, for her work, ‘Francesca.’  

This year’s runner up was 2018 Year 12 St Kilda Road student, Panisa Ongwat (OW2018), for her large-scale portraiture triptych, ‘Victor, Peter, Auaru.’ This year’s prize saw 180 entries from Senior School students from the Glen Waverley and St Kilda Road Campuses and the Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School, as well as from last year’s 2018 Year 12 cohort. 

The Packer’s Prize, selected by the art technicians from St Kilda Road and Glen Waverley, went to 2018 Year 12 Glen Waverley student, Joshua Kidd (OW2018), for his large-scale analogue portraits that are also currently in the Top Arts exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, NGV. The People’s Choice Award was won by 2018 Glen Waverley student, Wil Golja (OW2018), for his digital photograph, ‘The factory.’ Encouragement Award winners were Year 11 IB DP St Kilda Road student, Hudson Tarasiuk, for his sophisticated eight-panel ink drawings and 2018 Year 12 St Kilda Road student Elsa Bryant (OW2018), for her series of delicate and intricate drawings, ‘Seeds of life.’ 

Authentic learning  

Presented by Wesley College Society for the Arts, the Annual Acquisitive Art Prize and exhibition recognises the exceptional talent and hard work of Wesley students from Years 10 to 12, with works exhibited in a wide range of media including painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fibre art and mixed media. 

2019 judge, Lewis Miller, winner of the 1998 Archibald Prize with ‘Portrait of Allan Mitelman’ and an Archibald finalist 16 times, said the Annual Acquisitive Art Prize demonstrates the breadth of art being taught at Wesley College from traditional two-dimensional mediums to environmental art, sculpture and ceramics. ‘In judging art for such a prize, I need to go with my instinct and initial gut feelings as to which works resonate with me,’ said Mr Miller, one of Australia’s leading artists and well-known portraitist. ‘It has been a difficult choice given there is much talent on show, but the winner and runner up both show raw emotion in their works that speaks to me.’ 

According to Head of the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Glen Waverley Campus and curator of the 2019 Annual Acquisitive Art Prize exhibition, Michele Maher, the annual event provides students with a key experiential learning opportunity. ‘The creative process isn’t only about inspiration; it really involves the skills that underlie all learning, from research and problem solving to creation and evaluation,’ Ms Maher explained. ‘A student’s sketches in art are not so different from, say, experiments in science. They’re a way to test out an idea or hypothesis. 

Nudging the creative process 

‘The real beauty of public exhibitions is that it’s a powerful way of nudging the creative process and getting students to really grapple with the myriad creative and technical issues that exhibiting entails. 

‘Visual Art plays an important part in the learning experience of students across all campuses and is a fundamental part of Wesley’s curriculum across the Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, IB DP and VCE.’ 

Feedback from visitors to this year’s exhibition indicates that the Annual Acquisitive Art Prize of the Society for the Arts is a highly valued event in the Wesley College calendar. Dean Golja, artist and father of People’s Choice winner Wil Golja (OW2018), confirms that the opportunity for students to exhibit to a public audience not only builds their confidence but also supports their journey in the arts beyond school. 

2019 Annual Acquisitive Art Prize winners 

Annual Acquisitive Art Prize – Maya Coburn, a Year 12 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program student from the St Kilda Road Campus, for her work, ‘Francesca.’ 

Annual Acquisitive Art Prize runner up – Panisa Ongwat (OW2018), a 2018 Year 12 St Kilda Road student, for her large-scale portraiture triptych, ‘Victor, Peter, Auaru.’ 

People’s Choice – Wil Golja (OW2018), a 2018 Year 12 IB DP student from the Glen Waverley Campus, for his photographic work, ‘The factory.’ 

Packer’s Prize – Joshua Kidd (OW2018), a 2018 Year 12 Glen Waverley student, for his large-scale analogue portraits that are also currently hanging at the Ian Potter Centre, NGV as part of Top Arts. 

Encouragement Awards – Hudson Tarasiuk, a Year 11 IB DP St Kilda Road student, for his sophisticated eight-panel ink drawings; and Elsa Bryant (OW2018), a 2018 Year 12 St Kilda Road student, for her series of delicate and intricate drawings, ‘Seeds of life.’

Acquisitive Art Prize 2019

‘Francesca’ by Annual Acquisitive Art Prize winner, St Kilda Road Campus Year 12 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program student, Maya Coburn

Acquisitive Art PRize 2019

‘Victor, Peter, Auaru’ by Annual Acquisitive Art Prize runner up Panisa Ongwat (OW2018)

Acquisitive Art Prize 2019

An intent Richard Brenker, Acting Principal, studies the wide range of media on show at the 2019 Annual Acquisitive Art Prize exhibition

Acquisitive Art Prize 2019

People’s Choice winner, Wil Golja (OW2018), with his photographic work, ‘The factory.’

Acquisitive Art Prize 2019

Packer’s Prize winner, Joshua Kidd (OW2018), with his large-scale analogue portraits

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