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Young Archie 2023 – Behind the News

The finalists for this year’s Young Archie Competition have been announced, showcasing the artistic talents of young Australians.

Young Archie is the junior version of Australia’s renowned portrait prize, the Archibald, and invites children to create portraits of individuals who hold significance in their lives.

One of the finalists, Lexi, a 12-year-old artist, shared her experience and insights on how to create an outstanding portrait.

Lexi explained that the Young Archie Competition spans across Australia, allowing participants to submit portraits of people who inspire them or hold personal importance.

When asked about her submission, Lexi proudly revealed that she chose to portray herself.

She explained that the reference photo she used was the last one taken in junior school before her graduation.

Looking at it evoked numerous memories and connections she had with her classmates.

The Archibald prize, from which Young Archie derives its name, is one of the most prestigious art awards in Australia.

Named after JF Archibald, a journalist and art enthusiast, the competition was first held in 1921.

Participants in both competitions are required to paint portraits of well-known figures such as actors, musicians, politicians, or fellow artists.

Both the Archibald and Young Archie competitions are organized by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which has been nurturing the next generation of artists through Young Archie since 2013.

This year, the competition received an overwhelming response, with over 3,400 entries.

Lexi then demonstrated her artistic process, explaining that she starts by sketching out the desired image and then using a darker shade to trace over it.

Afterward, the traced image is transferred onto a piece of wood, where a heavy object is placed to help with the carving process.

Lexi cautioned that wood carving requires sharp knives and advised having Band-Aids nearby for safety.

Despite it being her first time attempting wood carving, Lexi dedicated a month to complete her piece for the competition.

She expressed her pride in trying something new and encouraged others to explore their artistic abilities, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zones.

In the end, Lexi’s wood carving, adorned with ink, turned out to be an impressive likeness of herself.

The segment concluded with a joyful exchange between Lexi and the interviewer, as they celebrated their collaborative effort.

The Young Archie Competition continues to inspire and recognize the artistic talent of young Australians, providing a platform for self-expression and creativity.

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