Joel’s painting in exhibition

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A BUDDING young artist was delighted to be in the frame for a top international award.

Joel Steel had one of his paintings shortlisted among 20 entries in the 2011 Saatchi Gallery/Sunday Telegraph Art Prize for Schools.

The competition is open for primary, secondary and sixth form schools from around the world.

And Joel’s paint on canvas composition – entitled ‘Monkey 2011’ – has gone on show as part of the exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, but he missed out on being named winner at the launch last week.

The eight-year-old, a pupil at Benton Dene Primary School, said: “I decided to paint a monkey because they are my favourite animal.

“When I found out I was shortlisted, I was very proud of myself and my teachers and friends were congratulating me all day.

“Now I am very excited about having my painting displayed in a gallery in London.”

First prize of £10,000 was awarded to the winning school’s art department, with a further £2,000 given to the winning pupil to be spent on art and computer equipment.

Two further runner-up prizes will be awarded to the second and third place pupils.

Jennifer Stapleton, art and design technology co-ordinator at Benton Dene Primary School, said: “Joel is from a very artistic family, and he is certainly carrying on that tradition.

“Joel was very clear in his mind what he wanted his picture to look like, and was pleased with how it turned out.

“He has a fantastic imagination.

“He was really happy that his drawing was shortlisted, and everyone in the school is delighted for him.”

For more about the competition visit www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/portfolio