27 March 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Valero Energy (Ireland) Limited, sponsors of the annual Texaco Children’s Art Competition – which is currently in its 66th year – has announced their decision to postpone the Final Judging, Winners’ Announcement and Prize Presentation of this year’s Competition.
Taken in response to advice issued by Government and HSE medical advice – and in recognition of the COVID-19 situation generally – the announcement is one that its Marketing Manager, Ms. Bronagh Carron said, “Will oblige all of the young artists throughout Ireland who submitted entries this year to wait a little longer before knowing who the 2020 Competition winners will be.”
A full statement to this effect has been posted on the Competition website (www.texacochildrensart.com) to which parents, teachers and entrants are referred for this and all future announcements that will be made as the situation becomes more clear.
Commenting on behalf of Valero Energy (Ireland) Limited, Ms. Carron added, “Categorization of the 25,820 entries received has been completed. Also completed is the Preliminary Judging process undertaken by an independent five-person panel of art specialists who decide the shortlist of entries that go forward for Final Adjudication.”
In view of the current situation, a decision has been taken to halt the process at this point and place matters in abeyance until it becomes safe to proceed with the customary Announcement of Winners Media Reception – traditionally held in mid-April and attended by the top 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each of seven age categories – and the Presentation of Prizes event, normally held in mid-May to which all 126 top prize winners and special merit award recipients and their parents are invited.
Whilst acknowledging that the decision taken is in line with medical advice and in the best interests of all concerned, the Valero Energy (Ireland) states that “organisers fully appreciate the sense of disappointment that it may cause to the many young artists whose hopes must be put on-hold as they await the completion of the judging process and the announcement of winners.”
‘In this regard, Valero Energy (Ireland) Limited will await the advice and instructions of Government in relation to COVID-19, hopeful that we can proceed and bring our 66th Texaco Children’s Art Competition to completion as soon as those who are expert in these matters deem it safe to do so,’ the statement added.
Thanking all of the young artists who have entered works in this year’s Competition, ‘whose enthusiasm, imagination, talent and dedication are qualities that we continue to applaud and admire’ and those many parents, guardians and teachers who so support their efforts, their Marketing Manager, Ms. Bronagh Carron added, “When it becomes safe for us to proceed and make new arrangements, contact will be made individually with each of the 126 winners involved and a general announcement will be posted on our website.”
Final judging will be carried out by the Chairman of the judging panel, Professor Declan McGonagle, former Director of the National College of Art & Design. It will follow work already completed by the preliminary judging panel composed of Dr. Denise Ferran (Artist & Art Historian), Eoin Butler (Artist & Lecturer in Visual Arts), Seán Kissane (Curator: Exhibitions, IMMA), Aoife Ruane (Director, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Drogheda) and Colleen Watters (Head of Learning & Partnership, Ulster Museum, Belfast).