Online forum for art and design awards

Blue Mountains Grammar School (BMGS) is celebrating the 21st year of the prestigious art and design awards sponsored by Dr Ken Marshall.

The awards acknowledge innovative and creative excellence in works produced by students in Visual Arts, Industrial Technology (Timber) and Design and Technology.

Unable to open the exhibition to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, long-time award support and partner Dr Marshall arranged a virtual tour of the exhibition with Katoomba's Big Button Films.

"The students have navigated some incredible challenges over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr Marshall. "Despite lockdowns and remote-learning constraints, the resulting works are exceptional and a testament to the creativity and resilience of the students and the ongoing support of their teachers.

"It is important to me that a showcase of students' work is available to the students, their families and the wider community."

Lily McKay: Bedside table

Lily McKay: Bedside table

As well as mastering traditional techniques during lockdown, students embraced new technologies including: 3D-printing; coding: virtual reality, laser cutting; and computer-aided design to create their major projects.

More than 650 works from Year 7 to 12 students can be seen on the virtual tour, covering the disciplines and mediums of industrial design and technology, sculpture, engineering, painting, jewellery design, drawing, screen printing, woodwork, ceramics, photography and video production.

Year 12 student, Milla Gibson, was awarded the Dr Ken Marshall Prize for Creative Initiatives in Visual Arts for "Deterioration of Memory and Matter". Gibson's exquisite digital photography and ceramics work explored the relationship between colonisation and the natural environment.

Ashlee Cremona (Year 8) received the Derivan Award for Most Imaginative Composition and Jade Robilliard (Stage 5) received the Derivan Award for Expressive Use of Media. Year 10 students Jack Roberson and Lily McKay were awarded the Year 10 Design and Technology (Timber) Award for their bedside tables. A complete list of winners and highly commended students is available on the BMGS Art and Design Awards website.

"The 2021 BMGS Art and Design Awards celebrate those in our community who are prepared to 'live out loud' so that others can learn from their lives," said Headmaster, Ian Maynard. "We value the products of their creativity not only because they bring us pleasure, elicit in us a response or meet some quality standard, but because of the very honest, intimate and familiar manner by which they have employed their chosen medium to discover and express themselves."

The community is invited to visit the BMGS Art and Design Awards website,, and vote for their favourite Year 12 artwork in the People's Choice Award. The winner will be announced on December 29.