Two talented sixth-form students shared the spoils when the judges announced the winners of the inaugural Dacorum Young Talent Awards on Saturday.
The awards event was held at the Peter Ingram Gallery at Frogmore Mill in Apsley, where work by the finalists had been on display during the previous week.
The project was organised and led by the Dacorum Arts Partnership with the support of the three local branches of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies which cover Ashridge, Gade Valley and Tring, and the Paper Trail at Frogmore Mill.
The awards, open to young artists aged from 18 to 30, attracted entries with a wide range of style, subject matter and size, so the distinguished judges had their work cut out picking the prize-winners.
They reached their verdict after assessing the technical merits of each piece alongside the artist’s creativity expressed through the work in question. Each finalist received a finalist’s certificate together with a personal comment made by the judges.
Highly commended, and receiving £100 or art gift vouchers, was university student Sophie Edwards.
Runner-up, and receiving a £250, was Boxmoor illustrator Amelia Illangartne.
But the judges could not separate two young artists, and awarded both Hemel Hempstead School’s Charlie Goodall and Emily Jackman from Berkhamsted School £500.
Judges said that Charlie’s striking portrait was an inventive picture that has been well conceived, well-drawn and painted, and praised the monochrome style.
They said of Emily’s work: “A very impressive painting – the artist has demonstrated facility and feeling with paint and has produced a bold and confident piece of work.”
Dacorum Arts Partnership chairman Brian Doran congratulated all of the finalists who had set such a high standard.
He added: “We very much hope to run the competition next year and make it an annual event in the arts calendar.
“Working with our partners on this project we exceeded our hopes and aspirations to give a boost to our young adult artists and further our cause to place the arts at the centre of our community where they belong.
“We hope to widen the scope of the awards to include other forms of visual arts and also the performing arts.”