Local artists have gone 'Out of this World' to create artworks for the 13th annual Challenge Community Services art competition, with some walking away with top prizes.

People with disability and young people in foster care from all over NSW entered a total of 272 pieces including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photography pieces.

This year's theme was 'Out of this World, and entries were filled with twinkling stars, mysterious aliens, soaring spaceships, adventurous astronauts, galactic landscapes, and even the coronavirus.
 
 

The winners of the competition were announced via live stream on Thursday from Ray Walsh House in Tamworth by Challenge Chief Executive Officer Peter Maher.

The competition launch was aligned with International Day of People with Disability on December 3, to help raise public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their talents, achievements and contributions.

The competition was been judged this year by Tamworth Regional Gallery director Bridget Guthrie, and collections officer Eloise Newall.

'People's choice' voting took place online and via the Challenge Facebook page where participating artists and the public voted for their favourite artworks.

Mr Maher said Challenge was "proud to welcome people with disability and young people in foster care from various service providers, to participate in this wonderful annual competition".

"The aim of the competition is to provide the artists with a platform to further enhance their individualism and status in the community through the expression of art. It's about focusing on their abilities, not their disability," he said.

"Despite the challenges this year with COVID-19, we still received over 270 artworks from artists aged 18 months to 74 years living in towns and cities right across NSW, from Albury to Tenterfield."

While everyone can't be a winner, Mr Maher said all participants "should be very proud of their achievements".

"It's been so great to see the diversity, talent and uniqueness expressed through their work," he said.

The physical art exhibition will remain on display at Ray Walsh House for the public to enjoy until Monday, January 4, 2021.

$3000 in prizes were awarded to 25 competition winners in six different categories.

This article was featured in the Northern Daily Leader written by Jessica Worboys, on 10 December, 2020.

First prize winners:

Young People in Foster Care ages 0-12: Aboriginal Space by I.F

Young People in Foster Care ages 13-18: Different Perspectives of Galaxy by E.E

People with Disability ages 0-12: My Crazy World by Machaela Shoobert from Gunnedah High School

People with Disability ages 13-18: Mind Blown by Zoe King from Gunnedah High School

People with Disability ages 19-50: We are Stardust by Zoyie-Lee Newham from Young supported by Job Centre Australia

People with Disability ages 50+: Cosmic Galaxy by Kristine Reynolds from Bowraville supported by Open Arms and Classy Arts.

Runner Up awards:

Young People in Foster Care ages 0-12: Space Travel Into the Universe by T.G

Young People in Foster Care ages 13-18: Out of this World by J.C

People with Disability ages 0-12: Moon by Leah Hayward from Parkes

People with Disability ages 13-18: Jae’s Planets by Jae Debreceny from Gunnedah High School

People with Disability ages 19-50: Cats in Space by Zappix Art from Toukley

People with Disability ages 50+: Galaxy by Treasa Carter from Tamworth supported by Challenge Disability Services.

Encouragement awards:

Young People in Foster Care ages 0-12: Monkey in Space by A.W

Young People in Foster Care ages 13-18: The Star by D.Z

People with Disability ages 0-12: Love you to the moon and back by Iridian Cant from Hallsville supported by Challenge Therapeutic Services

People with Disability ages 13-18: The Rocket Ship by Jack Howell from Wewak Street School

People with Disability ages 19-50: Surfing the Universe by Carmel Mott from Bowraville supported by Open Arms and Classy Arts

People with Disability ages 50+: New Galaxy by Barbara Mott from Bowraville supported by Open Arms and Classy Arts

'People's Choice' winners:

Young People in Foster Care ages 0-12: A World We Call Home by J.G

Young People in Foster Care ages 13-18: The Star by D.Z

People with Disability ages 0-12: The Great Space by Angus Lee from Cardiff South

People with Disability ages 13-18: One trace of light can reveal a million stories by Oliver Kent from Gorokan, supported by the NDIS

People with Disability ages 19-50: The Alien out of this World by Alysha Clarke from Warialda supported by Challenge Disability Services

People with Disability ages 50+: Enter the Galaxy by Douglas Walker from Penrith supported by Afford

Photography Award winner:

Overall winner: One trace of light can reveal a million stories by Oliver Kent from Gorokan, supported by the NDIS

You can view images of the winning entries on the Challenge Community Services Facebook Page.