Walkers awards students' artworks

Entries called creative, imaginative

Several schools in the Cayman Islands have extra money in the till thanks to their talented students. 

Walkers recently held an awards ceremony for its School Art Competition, which saw US$15,000 of cash prizes awarded to the schools of the winners. The standard of entries was extremely high, and with many creative and imaginative pieces of art work submitted. 

The awards ceremony was held at Walkers’ new offices on Elgin Avenue, with students, parents, principals and art teachers from the winning schools invited to attend. Cash awards were made to the schools in two age categories – 10-13 and 14-17 with a first prize of US$5,000 and a Second Prize of US$1,500. There was also a runners up prize of US$500 in each category, as well as a special prize of US$1,000 for the school with the Best Youngest Artist. 


A welcoming 

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Antonia Hardy, managing partner of Walkers’ Cayman Islands office and also one of the judges for the competition, welcomed the students and guests. 

“We were very pleased with the response from the community,” she said. “The artwork was very impressive, as was the level of creativity expressed by all the entrants. It made the judging process really quite difficult.” 

In the 10-13 age group, first prize was awarded to St. Ignatius for the work by Andrew Christian, second prize went to Red Bay Primary for the art by Eldora Ch’ng and the runner-up prize was awarded to St. Ignatius for the picture by Samruddhi Tagalpallewar. 

For the 14-17 category, first prize was awarded to Grace Christian Academy for the efforts of Alyssa McLaughlin, second prize went to Hope Academy for artist Taylor Wood and the runner-up prize was awarded to John Gray High School on behalf of artist Thalia Rego-Ramos. 

The Special Youth Prize for Best Youngest Artist was awarded to Cayman Prep and High for a Triptych, which is a painting made up of three sections, submitted by the Year Six art students. 


The judges 

The judging panel also included Natalie Urquhart, director of the Cayman Islands National Gallery; Inga Masjule, Walkers’ Global executive HR director; and artist Wray Banker.  

“The artwork on display truly embraces the competition theme of Looking to the Future and the pieces are as varied as they are creative,” said Mrs. Urquhart. “All of the artists have presented strong pieces of work.” 

A number of special mentions were also given to students by the judges for pieces of work that did not win in any of the categories but deserved recognition for their unique style and creativity. The special mentions were given to Denton Powis of North Side Primary School, Andre-Mena Hebbert of Layman Scott High School in Cayman Brac, Bianca-Rego Ramos of John Gray High School, Lori M. Peterson of Cayman Prep and High and Veko Ramgeet of Wesleyan Christian Academy. 

All the children attending the event were presented with a Walkers gift bag and the winning pieces of art will be displayed on the seventh floor of Walkers’ offices. 

Walkers is an active supporter of charitable causes, with a particular focus on art and educational opportunities for children as well as conservation programmes. Among the initiatives in Cayman in recent years, Walkers has sponsored the [email protected] event for the past decade, sponsored local dance company Dance Unlimited and the firm has its own Children’s Art Club – the ‘Walkers Art Club’, which is led by the National Gallery. 


From left are Denise Robichaud, art teacher at Grace Christian Academy; Alyssa McLaughlin, Grace Christian Academy – 1st place; Antonia Hardy, Walkers’ Cayman managing partner; Taylor Wood, Hope Academy – 2nd place; Katie Oelschlager, art teacher at Hope Academy; and Pamella Montgomery, art teacher John Gray High School. Not pictured is Thalia Rego Ramos of John Gray High School, who received the runner-up prize. – Photo: Submitted
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