Posted on August 25, 2017
Entering the City of Bayswater's 2016 Art Awards was a no brainer for local artist Erika Van Der Wal.
The 18 year-old who is now studying to be a secondary art teacher at Curtin University entered a self-portrait last year called 'Sinking' which came runner-up in the High School category.
The lead pencil, resin, ink, acrylic and Perspex piece portrayed Erika in her happy place; down at the beach.
"I'd just come back from a holiday in Queensland when I painted that and I felt really inspired," she said.
"I was very tranquil and relaxed, being surrounded by what I love (the beach). The painting was about sinking into that feeling, about looking more into my emotions."
When she entered last year's awards Erika was still in Year 12 at Chisholm Catholic College in Bedford. Her art teacher encouraged her to embrace the experience.
"When my teacher told me about the art awards I thought it would be really nice to have that kind of exposure," Erika added.
"It was great to be part of a big exhibition, to interact with other artists of different mediums and learn from that.
"I would definitely encourage other young artists to take part. It's a fantastic feeling to see your art hanging in an exhibition of that size; it's a really inspiring experience."
"I will definitely be entering again next year when I have more time to devote to making a piece."
The major prize is the acquisitive City of Bayswater Open Award; the winner receives $5,000 and the City acquires the artwork for its collection.
City of Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna said the calibre of entrants to the awards was enviably high.
"We have so many talented artists in the City, it's great to see their work come together at one space at The Rise," Mayor McKenna said.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the entries again this year - the calibre of entries gets stronger every year."
The exhibition will run this year from November 17 to December 1 at The RISE in Maylands.
All entries to the Art Awards and Exhibition must have been created no less than 12 months prior to the closing date - September 14, 2017 - and must not have been previously exhibited.
For more information on how to enter and application forms please visit the City's website: www.bayswater.wa.gov.au or contact our Events Team on 9272 0622.