Former Geraldton teacher in running for prestigious art prize
Former Nagle Catholic College arts teacher Jordan Andreotta has been named a finalist in the prestigious Lester Prize.
Andreotta’s drawing of Sister Flora Ricupero will be one of 40 portraits on display in the Art Gallery of WA later this year.
Despite both artist and subject having a strong connection with Geraldton, Andreotta said he didn’t meet Sr Flora until he moved back to Perth in 2017 and started teaching at Iona Presentation College.
“I worked with her for two years but she retired at the end of last year after being a teacher since the mid-60s,” Andreotta said.
“She has a really interesting story and ... there’s this aura about her that draws people in.
“I thought she’d be the perfect person to do the art piece on.”
Mr Andreotta, who worked at Nagle Catholic College for six years, said Sr Flora was “thrilled” to have her portrait done for the contest.
Working with graphite and white pencil, the portrait took the artist about a week to complete.
“I chose to work in lead pencil on grey paper as I wanted to capture the softness of her personality by making all the details really delicate and fine,” he said.
“My portrait aims to depict her in a contemplative pose, capturing her presence that everyone knows her for, as she reflects on a life of compassion, joy and purpose.”
During his time in Geraldton, Andreotta painted a number of large-scale public artworks, including the giant octopus above Yamaji Art on Marine Terrace.
The artist continues to visit Geraldton several times a year, often stopping by to paint a new mural for a school or local business.
Artist and fashion designer Elle Campbell, who grew up in Dandaragan, has also been named a finalist for her self-portrait, Will The Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up.
More than 400 artists from across Australia entered the competition, which has a total prize pool of more than $77,000.
Winners of The Lester Prize — formerly the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture — will be announced at AGWA on November 8.
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