The Young Kennel Club (YKC) has announced the winners of its eighth annual YKC Artist of the Year competition, which will be presented at the world’s greatest dog event, Crufts 2016.
The annual art competition, run by the YKC, received an exceptional number of entries from members whose creativity and talent was inspired by this year’s theme, ‘Your dog at their happiest’.
The overall and 6-11 years category winner, 9 year-old Jessica Smith from Worksop, won the judge over with her picture of her dogs frolicking in a meadow as the sun sets (pictured).
Speaking about her win, Jessica said: "It felt incredible and so exciting! I really enjoy drawing and painting dogs and having come second in my age group two years ago; this was like a dream come true!
"I just thought, when is my dog really at her happiest, and it is when she is 'being a dog', doing what she wants and being free! I love drawing animals and particularly my own animals. I can't really explain how much my dogs mean to me - I can't imagine life without them. They help make our house a home."
This year’s competition was judged by the Kennel Club’s art gallery manager, Luisa Foster. Luisa has worked within the library and collections department for almost 16 years. Her extensive knowledge of dog art grew after organising the Kennel Club’s vast art collection when she first started in the role as well as being heavily involved in establishing the first art gallery at the Kennel Club in 2003.
Speaking about the winning drawing, Luisa said: “I chose Jessica’s work as I think it’s such a happy and vibrant picture. It fits in perfectly with the theme of the competition – dogs at their happiest. She has drawn not only the dogs but their surroundings really well. I think for me it’s the colours that made it stand out from the rest - they are lovely and bright! The standard was really high this year so it was difficult to judge. There are lots of young talented artists that entered who should be proud of their work.”
As well as having their artwork on display at the world’s greatest dog show, all category winners in the competition will receive a bumper artist gift set and have received passes to come to Crufts to view their artwork. As the overall winner, Jessica will also receive free YKC membership, a cheque for £75 and tickets to Crufts for her family.
The winners and runners up of the Young Kennel Club Artist of the Year competition are as follows:
6 – 11 Years and Overall winner: Jessica Smith (aged 9)
12 – 16 Years: Amelia Barrable (15)
17 – 24 Years: Hannah Gates (17)
6 – 11 Years: Bobbie Lee (9), Beatrice Robinson (11)
12 – 16 Years: Charlotte Westerman (14), Chloe McLellan (12)
17 – 24 Years: Emily Small (20), Samantha Webster (19)
Jessica, Amelia and Hannah will receive their awards at the YKC stand in Hall 3, stand 23 at 11am on Sunday 13th March.
The winning images will be on display on the YKC stand at Crufts from March 10th - 13th at the NEC, Birmingham.