Talented art student shortlisted for Holt Festival Art award


A talented art student, Mia Mack, has been shortlisted for one of the prestigious Holt Festival Art awards.

The 17-year-old is studying art at A-level at Yarm School Lower Sixth Form and submitted her oil painting “New Shoes” for the Swords Art Award for Young Talent ages 16-18.

Those shortlisted for the two Swords Art Prizes are then also entered into the Sir John Hurt Art Prize.

Read more: Teesside School ‘Dedicated to Putting Students First’ Celebrates Double Reward

Mia said the concept behind her entry was: “Inspired during lockdown by how much music can change how you feel, I created this piece to capture my usual reaction to hearing the song ‘New Shoes’ by Paolo Nutini – to dance.

“Considering the subject of the song, I thought my favorite shoes should take center stage and be in a musical environment, hence the drums that live in the garage where I took my reference photographs.

“I closely relate music to art and am fascinated by the impact both can have on a person in a short period of time. “

The oil painting took Mia about 50 hours, and that’s not her only recent success.



“New Shoes” oil painting by art student Mia Mack

She came second in the 2021 International Essay Competition, organized by the New College of the Humanities.

She won £ 500 as a finalist for her entry into the Art History category, titled “Should the West Return Cultural Artifacts to Their Former Colonial Territories?” “

Mia said, “I always try to push my limits with what I can create and what I use to create it.

“Pushing the limits for me is trying to show my skills in different and original ways and having concepts and stories behind my work that go beyond the surface level.

“Working on my A level course is really helping me while honing my technical skills in drawing, painting and color mixing, which I hope will be showcased in my competition piece. “

Yarm School Principal Huw Williams said, “We are all very proud of Mia and her success and in awe of the artwork she submitted for the award.

“The level of the competition is exceptionally high, with established and up-and-coming artists showcasing their work.

“The school’s philosophy is to nurture our students and encourage them to make the most of their talent, whatever the field.

“Mia’s artistic talents are exceptional and she is naturally motivated to explore and improve her art.

“She has the commitment and the ability to do whatever she wants.

“To see his art exhibited during the festival is a huge achievement.”

BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee Sir John Hurt is known for his television and film roles including The Elephant Man and Harry Potter.

He spent many years of his life in North Norfolk, was Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts and also a big supporter of the Holt Hold Festival, which is now in its tenth year.

Former winner of the Sovereign European Art Prize and one of last year’s judges, Susan Gunn said: “The Sir John Hurt Art Prize, and the more recent Swords Art Prizes that accompany it, are a vital tribute to the John’s love and passion for the arts. .

“Based in his beloved East Anglia, the quality and level of participants increases year on year with the entries of regionally and nationally renowned artists and amateur practitioners keen to create.

“I can’t wait to see how the price evolves. “

Further information on Holt Festival is available here.

The winners will be announced on Sunday July 25 at 6.30 p.m.

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Kayleen C. Rice

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