Donegal girl Rachel Foster-McDaid has been named as the regional winner in the Sightsavers Junior Painters Awards 2017.

Rachel Foster-McDaid, Age 8, from St Francis NS in Barnesmore, Co. Donegal has been chosen as one of Ireland’s best young painters for her entry to the Sightsavers Junior Painters Awards 2017.  Rachel’s painting was inspired by this year’s theme of “Framing the Future” and is a regional winner in her category.

Competition was as tough as ever with thousands of children from over 200 primary schools across the country entering this hugely popular annual art competition. Rachel is one of the 15 finalists chosen to have their painting displayed at the awards ceremony in Dublin on Monday 27th February.

News2Day presenter Gill Stedman presenting the national Sightsavers art winners with their prizes.

Embracing creativity and education are the core objectives of the Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards which is open to primary school students of all ages across the country. Sightsavers envisions an inclusive future where children living with disabilities get to go to school.

This year’s “Framing the Future” theme inspired thousands of imaginative entries. All three judges, Emmy-award winning costume designer Joan Bergin, Children’s Laureate PJ Lynch, and artist and director of Arts and Disability Ireland Padraig Naughton, were astounded by the entries received. They especially noted the fantastic expression and colour and time that went into each and every painting.

Catrina Sheridan, Sightsavers CEO, said: “We always love seeing the wonderful paintings which children across Ireland create for the Junior Painter Awards. The competition has shown us that Irish children are caring and compassionate. It allows us to teach them about the value of sight and how some children living with blindness in developing countries around the world don’t always have the opportunity to go to school like they do. Congratulations to all of the winners.”

The Junior Painter Awards competition is proudly sponsored by The Irish Times and ReCreate, an arts and creative reuse project which collects unused materials from businesses around Ireland for art, craft, theatre and creative projects.

This year’s top four finalists won substantial cash prizes for their schools. Every child that entered received a Certificate of Participation in recognition of their creative efforts.

The 15 finalist paintings will be exhibited in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre from July 1st through to August 5th.