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This Is Art! 2023 winners announced

min read

This Is Art! 2023 winners announced

min read


This Is Art! 2023 winners announced

Celebrating young artists of all abilities, after 3,000 entries and a prize fund of over €10,000, the winners of This Is Art! 2023 have been announced.

The Creative Ireland Programme and RTÉ have today announced the winners of the third This Is Art! national competition which celebrates young artists of all abilities. The winners (listed below) from across Dublin and from Donegal were chosen by an independent panel of judges (also listed below) who have again highlighted the high standard of entries right across the age categories.

The competition promotes artistic practice among young people and encourages and supports creativity, originality and self-expression.

Working to the theme, ‘This Is Inspiration’, 3,000 entries were received from young artists of all abilities, aged 18 and under, all over the country who created an original piece of art that will be showcased in an online art gallery for generations to come.

This year 17 local authorities have taken part in This is Art! with 7 of these hosting exhibitions on Saturday 10th June.

From Waterford’s exhibition in Waterford Art Gallery to Monaghan’s North Road display, these exhibitions will feature exciting work from budding artists in your area so be sure to check it out. Selected works from this year’s entries will also feature on billboards across the country and on social media as part of a campaign by The Creative Ireland Programme and RTÉ.

Winners 2023

The 2023 This is Art! winners are:

  • Age 7 and under: Maimoonah Syed, age 6, Dublin – ‘Punk The Skunk’
  • Age 8 – 11: Tadhg Tural, age 11, Dublin – ‘A Day in Lesvos
  • Age 12 – 15: Zihan He, age 14, Dublin – ‘Journey of Tranquility’
  • Age 16 – 18: Georgia Smith, age 16, Dublin – The Stratford Fox’
  • Group category: An Chéad Bhliain, Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny – ‘Mess Monsters’

The prize fund of €10,000 will be announced, with winners across the different categories receiving prizes, as well as the This Is Art! Grand Prix Award – a specially commissioned one-of-a-kind glass trophy handmade by renowned glass artist, Róisín de Buitléar.

Tania Banotti, Director, The Creative Ireland Programme, says:

“On behalf of the Creative Ireland Programme I want to congratulate the winners of This is Art! 2023 on their exceptional work. Creative Ireland is delighted to support any opportunity for young people to be creative in whatever form that takes and this year we were thrilled to see the broad range of styles and techniques employed by everyone who entered This is Art. Like the judges, we were genuinely impressed with the breadth of imagination and skills employed by all of our young artists. We would also like to thank our This is Art! partners who have delivered this wonderful creative programme.”

Suzanne Kelly, Head of Children’s and Young People’s content RTÉ said:

“RTÉ is so thrilled to be part of such a positive and inspiring initiative. Once again, the level of creativity from 3,000 young artists of all ages and all abilities all over the country has been so impressive. Our invitation for This Is Art! was to get involved, get imagining and get creative and the results have been truly mind-blowing! Well done to all the winners and to everyone who entered. Your work and your contribution to this year’s competition is truly inspiring.”

What the Winners Said:

Maimoonah (0-7)

“When I make art, I feel like I’m imagining myself in everything I love. I’m really glad that the judges liked my art.”

Tadhg (8-11)

“Accepting this award was really really exciting for me. I’m so grateful to have won. I wish everybody could win! I love art and I spend a lot of time drawing. I have a big binder filled with all my drawings. I find inspiration all around me. The world inspires me. There are billions and trillions of things around you that you can draw. Creating this art was really fun to do.” 

Zihan (12-15)

“I began creating art when I was six or seven. Art offers a relaxing moment, I get to get away from the stress of school. My piece mainly focuses on the power of music and how it transports us to a more tranquil state amongst the chaos of everyday life. It feels really amazing to win and I love the trophy!”

Georgia (16–18)

I’m definitely still in shock that I have won first place in this category in This is Art! 2023. For any young artists, my advice would be to practice every day, just draw and paint even if you think it’s going to be bad. Just keep drawing and keep practicing. If you have what you think is a good idea, you should go for it, just take leaps and go for it. You’re going to be a better artist if you keep practicing.”

An Chéad Bhliain, Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny (Group Winners)

“We are so happy to discover that we are the Grand Prix winners in the group category. We worked so hard for weeks on this project and we’re so happy that the judges loved it too. When working with others, there are different ideas and thoughts and it’s great to see how all the different ideas come together to create amazing art. We had great fun making these monsters and as a class we are so proud.”

What the Artists Won

Grand Prix Award: The winning artist in each category receives the This Is Art! Grand Prix Award – a specially commissioned one-of-a-kind glass trophy handmade by renowned glass artist, Róisín de Buitléar.

Commendations: Selected works across all categories receive a certificate of commendation along with prize vouchers for art materials and a professional review of their work by one of our judges.

Group Bursaries: Professional art facilitators will provide a unique art experience for the winners and runners up in the Group Category.

Other: Bursaries towards art courses, vouchers for art materials and picture framing vouchers will also be awarded to a number of artists.

What the Judges Said

Tadhg Crowley, The Glucksman Museum, University College Cork on 0–7 winner: ‘Punk the Skunk’ (by Maimoonah)

“What a wonderfully expressive and joyful artwork! It is rare that an artwork will capture the attention of all the judges the way that Punk the Skunk did. A beautiful use of materials, Maimoonah has demonstrated extraordinary skill. Wholehearted congratulations Maimoonah, keep being creative!”

Colin Martin RHA, RHA School & NCAD on the 8-11 winner: ‘A Day in Lesvos’ (by Tadhg)

“This was a compelling winner in this category and shows how art can tell stories on many levels. There is a lovely freedom to how Tadhg draws the courthouse, and you can feel the light and heat from the way he describes the building with fluency and accuracy. It also tells a personal powerful story of what is happening in the courthouse from his perspective. Congratulations!”

Amanda Coogan, Visual Artist on 12-15 winner: ‘Journey of Tranquility’ (by Zihan)

“Zihan, this is an exceptional piece of art, huge congratulations. You are such an accomplished artist. I particularly love the composition. The double reflection in the window is wonderful, it allows me three perspectives on your beautiful journey of tranquility. Super congratulations and I look forward to seeing more of your work.”

Ruth Medjber, Photographer, on 16-18 winner: ‘The Stratford Fox’ (by Georgia)

“Street Art is not easy, but this young artist has totally aced it. She has placed a really special piece in the perfect location, taking into consideration what others might want to see. Her technical knowledge is also far beyond her years.”

Aoife Dooley, Illustrator & Author on Group Winner: ‘Monster Mess’ (by An Chéad Bhliain / Rang Ealaín), Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal)

“I love how each student who took part, took a piece of the story that meant something to them personally and expressed this through art! The piece looks amazing and I love how they used different mediums throughout.”

Further information and to see all the entries and winners, visit

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