A PAINTING by a young Clare artist and student of the Ennis Art School has been brought to life as part of a new television commercial. The painting by young Laurie Hehir, aged seven, was chosen to illustrate the promotion of the closing date for receipt of entries in the 2020 Texaco Children’s Art Competition.
Her teacher, local artist Carmel Doherty told us, “This is a massive achievement for Laurie, her parents are delighted and very proud of her. She’s a very nice kid, full of beans and really creative. It’s marvellous to see her art work on the screen.”
Screened here and in Northern Ireland throughout the months of January and February, its purpose will be to notify young artists, parents and teachers that the 66th Competition is underway.
The commercial’s storyline centres upon Laurie’s painting of ‘Bobby’, her grandfather’s Friesian cow for which she was awarded a prize in the competition last year. Focusing on the characteristics that endeared ‘Bobby’ to her, the voiceover is spoken entirely by Laurie.
Noting how he ‘inspired’ her to enter the competition, her painting comes to life as Laurie talks to viewers about Bobby and how he “loves to watch butterflies that live on the farm” and to look up to the stars at night as he is graphically portrayed “jumping over the moon” in the style of the popular nursery rhyme.
The production ends with Laurie holding her painting before walking off-screen to reveal the February 28 closing date for receipt of entries in what will be the 66th year of the competition which is hosted annually.
Carmel explained that the Ennis Art School, which works with students from five to 90-years-of-age, submits works from all of its young artists every year for the competition.
“Every year I choose the best of their artworks and we get a number of special merits, the students do a great job and I’m proud of all of them. All of the students work really, really hard. They might enter the competition in February, but the work starts back in September.”
Carmel is hopeful that Laurie’s success may inspire others to become more creative. “Laurie’s sister also attends the class, they are a creative family and see the merit in art and why it’s so important. It’s great for the development of kids, as well as letting them paint and draw they are learning about parallel lines and shapes. There is also the social aspect of the classes, meeting others and seeing their work.“A lot of people forget that every aspect of our lives is designed by somebody, art isn’t just about fine art, our shoes, cars, clothes are all designed by somebody. Engineers, teachers and scientists all use art in some way. By taking art classes students learn to see the world through colour, giving them a different perspective on life which they will have for the rest of their lives.”