The guest of honour, judges, sponsors and the proud crowd at the grand finale expressed their admiration of the talent on show as the three winners revelled in the sheer delight they were swept up in. Alvin Thomas has the mood and merriment framed.
The excitement and nervousness was at an all-time high for the 47 contestants who had entered Y’s Portrait By A Nation art competition’s grand finale. The anxious faces of the students and the parents said it all. It was what they had waited for – and golly, what a close finish it was!
Gathered at the Oman Ballroom of the iconic Sheraton Oman Hotel on February 19, the finalists waited with bated breath as Merge 104.8’s Chris Fisher took the stage, thereby commencing the proceedings for the evening.
Students were soon lined up against their paintings and the guest of honour, Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al Said, began the long walk admiring each painting and duly documenting it on her social media handles as the parents and students looked on proudly.
Sayyida Basma was all praise for the works of art, and said the students were “extremely creative and brimming with talent”.
Held as part of the Sultanate’s celebrations to mark the 47th National Day, the Portrait By A Nation competition aimed at giving children an opportunity to create lasting tributes to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said. Their portraits were impressive, with many using a range of techniques that surprised the judges and sponsors alike.
Selecting 47 finalists – let alone three winners from three categories – was a challenge, but it was made possible by our fantastic sponsors and the judges.
The competition, which was held at the Muscat Grand Mall, witnessed a record 2,300 participants over the National Day weekend. There were entrants from as far as Salalah, Nizwa and Sohar.
This year’s competition was powered by FRiENDi, and in association with sponsors Muscat Grand Mall, PUCK, IDdesign and Finland Eye Center. eXtra was the electronics sponsor for the event.
The winners received gifts worth RO3,150.
Here are the winners from each category:
1) 5 – 9
First Place: Rishik Vashisht
Second Place: Saanvi Raju
Third Place: Anvitha Arundeebak
2) 10 – 13
First Place: Richa Thakur
Second Place: Ishan Malik
Third Place: Siddharth Chenni
14 – 17
First Place: Anika Joshi
Second Place: Vaidehee Thankur
Third Place: Jannatul Mawa
Winner in the 14-17 category Anika Joshi said: “This is a very emotional moment for me. This was my last Portrait By A Nation competition, and I had been taking part in it for the last three years.
Anika – who also took home the first spot last year – added: “I will be going to college this year, and I am opting for fine arts. I think in a way the Y magazine instilled a sense of confidence in me to pursue my dream. I would like to thank you all for your support and I hope this competition will go on for many more years.”
Eugen Comendant, the Marketing & Sales Director of FRiENDi, exclaimed: “We really appreciate the initiative taken by the Y magazine to hone such wonderful talents of the kids and also showcase their love for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.
“Giving these kids an opportunity to show the country and their peers their skills will help them grow more as artists – and we’re already among some highly talented individuals.
“It has been a fruitful journey and we enjoyed every bit of it. I would also like to extend all my gratitude to Team Y who has been working on this project non-stop for months.”
Nishad Padiyarath, Y’s editor, chimed in: “This has been a very long and prolific event – and I would like to thank all the sponsors, parents and children for their enthusiasm. This is what has made Portrait By A Nation a grand success.
“I am told that there were several students who were participating from last year’s competition, and we’re very happy to see that. However, some will not be returning next year as they will be heading for higher studies.
“Still, we hope to see their support in the coming editions of PBAN. But before we conclude it all, I would like to tell everyone out there that we are grateful for your support. And when we come back for our next competition later this year, I promise that it will be bigger and better than ever before.”