Letterkenny artist competing for major prize

SARA, a painting by Letterkenny artist Mantas Poderys has made it through to the second round of the UK’s Jackson’s Painting Prize 2021. The portrait is one of 400 works from artists all over the world which has made the longlist.
Now in its sixth year, Jackson’s Painting Prize attracted 8,674 painting and drawing submissions battling it out for £11,000 worth of prizes.
Speaking to the Donegal News from his studio in Letterkenny, Mantas (30) said that he was excited to make the longlist.
“There will be another round of judging before the shortlist is announced on March 31 and that will then be open for public voting.
“The piece, called Sara (pastel), is a portrait of a girl holding her hands up. It’s a very simple portrait that goes into her past experiences and looks into her futures as well but I hope it is able to explain itself,” he said.
Mantas won the prestigious KPMG Award as Royal Ulster Academy Young Artist of the Year 2020. Since then, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland purchased that work for their collection. That work is also going to be displayed by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in London.
A native of Lithuania, Mantas moved to Letterkenny with his family in 2004. He attended Errigal College before moving to St Eunan’s College. He was a student in the North West Regional College in Derry and then the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. He also spent a year in America as an exchange student at the Museum of Fine Art.
Mantas alsdo won the overall prize in the Texaco Children’s competition with oil painted self-portraits in 2009.
“I keep busy in the studio. I’m working on larger scale commission pieces and I now have the space to stand back and really experience what I am doing,” he said.

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