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Six of the winning learners, holding up their portraits

Artistic tribute: Gower College Swansea students sweep competition with portraits of Rhys Ifans

Gower College Swansea learners have been busy sketching, painting and creating digital and ceramic art for the annual 9to90 portrait competition, and yet again, have won in multiple categories! 

Organized by Jane Simpson of GSArtists, the 9to90 competitions give the local community, of all ages and abilities, an opportunity to come together and to have their work exhibited in the gallery. Each year, the portrait competition centres on a Welsh celebrity, with the celebrity or their family choosing the winners. There is also always a Pet Pawtrait competition.

This year, the subject was BAFTA award-winning Rhys Ifans, who has famously acted in films such as Twin Town, Notting Hill and Harry Potter, and sang lead vocals for the Super Furry Animals rock band. Rhys chose the winners himself.

Gower College Swansea winners from the 17-and-under category of the Rhys Ifans competition

1st place – Curtis Grey 
2nd place – Marufa Khatun 
Highly Commended x 3 – Paige-Marie, Leo McCloskey and Carys Glen

Gower College Swansea winners for the Pet Pawtrait competition

17-and-under category 

1st place - Tom Buxton 
2nd place – Kai McCarley 
Highly Commended – Charlie Chandler 

Adult category 

2nd place – Sophie Thomas 

“9to90 is is an excellent nonprofit event to celebrate the arts and promote local talent,” says Marilyn Jones, Art and Design Lecturer.

“The students who take part gain so much from the process of answering a real-life brief, exploring techniques, applying skills, exhibiting their work and receiving comments and judgment. And once again, we have winners from our Llwyn y Bryn Campus. What a creative bunch!” 

The exhibition was held at GS Artists Gallery in High Street, Swansea.