Limerick student wins overall award at Texaco children’s art competition 

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Dan Killackey with his award-winning portrait of his granduncle.

A YOUNG Limerick artist’s detailed coloured pencil portrait of his granduncle has won the overall award at this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition.

18-year-old Dan Killackey, a product design student at the University of Limerick, also won first prize in the senior (16 to 18 years) category for his work titled ‘Isolation’.

The former Ardscoil Rís secondary student first discovered his passion for art in primary school and continued to develop his talent throughout his teens, both at Junior and Leaving Certificate level.

He won a Special Merit Award in the 16-18 years age category of the Texaco competition in 2020 for a portrait of his grandaunt entitled ‘Margaret’.

The inspiration for his entry in this year’s competition, for which  he receives a prize of €1,500, came to him while on a visit to his granduncle Mick’s home in North Tipperary.

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“The cat jumped on to the table, and we took a photo of it. I realised afterwards that it would make for an interesting portrait study,” Dan explains.

Dan Killackey’s portrait of his granduncle Mick.

Final Adjudicator and Chairman of the judging panel, Gary Granville, Professor Emeritus at the National College of Art and Design, described Dan’s piece as “a short story in visual imagery”.

“In his image of a man and his cat, Dan has captured so many aspects of contemporary life in Ireland. Through understated reference to some resonant icons – the discarded Covid face-covering on the table, the classic Sacred Heart image in the far corner, and the old TV set in the background, we can locate a man we all seem to know,” Professor Granville said.

Dan will be among four of this year’s prizewinners who have been selected by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) to exhibit at the International Arts Festival at the Tokyo National Art Centre in August.

In the meantime he has received a number of commissions which he will be working on over the summer months.