Introducing the very first This is Art! Exhibition

by Alison O'Hanlon
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This is Art! – the annual art competition run by RTÉ in association with The Creative Ireland Programme for young people 0 -18 years across Ireland – will showcase an amazing selection of the 15,000 entries received since its launch in 2021 in a new art exhibition.

This special This is Art! exhibition is free of charge and currently running in the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Ely Place, Dublin 2, until Sunday October 29.

Opening times are from 11.00am – 5.00pm, Monday – Friday (6.30pm Wednesday) and from 12.00 noon – 6.30pm on Sunday.

Elias Faustino-Lawlor (13) from South Dublin pictured with his paiting at the launch of the first exhibition of This is Art!


Through QR codes beside artists’ names, visitors to the exhibition will get a unique insight into each piece by being brought directly to the artist’s statement which describes in their own words what inspired them to produce the piece. Just scan the QR code with your phone’s camera.


Three themes will be on display at this exhibition. Each year, young artists of all abilities respond visually to a theme.

In 2021, the theme was “This is Now” which invited our young artists to respond creatively to lockdown. Hope, sadness, confusion, anger, and joy converge in an invaluable time capsule of creativity from a time that rocked the world.

In the beginning of 2022, with a return to normality on the horizon, the theme was “This is Extraordinary”. Again, the artworks submitted painted a picture of the concerns of young people in Ireland as we transitioned cautiously to a new freedom.

In 2023, the theme was “This is Inspiration”. At last, the talent and creativity of our young people could run wild – and it did.

Commenting on the This is Art! exhibition, Director-General of RTÉ, Kevin Bakhurst said “The This is Art! competition celebrates creativity among young people across this island and has been an important part of RTÉ’s support of our youngest artists over the last three years. RTÉ is proud once again to partner with Creative Ireland in this special collaboration with the RHA in its 200th year to provide another opportunity to showcase some incredible art, and celebrate young artists and their artistic creations. Well done and thank you to all those who have participated in This is Art! since it started three years ago. This is a celebration of all of you, and of your inspirational creativity.”

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin said “Many congratulations to the talented young people who have submitted 15,000 artworks and participated in This is Art! since it first launched in 2021. This exhibition is a fantastic reflection of the boundless creativity and enthusiasm of our young citizens. It is wonderful to be able to bear witness to it and I hope that they will continue to express themselves so eloquently for many years to come”

Jude Newnhan (19) with his painting ‘No Apologies’ challenging our perception of beauty at pictured with Suzanne Kelly, Head of Children’s & Young People’s programming at RTÉ

Suzanne Kelly, Head of Young People’s Programming, RTÉ said This Is Art! began in 2020 as an RTÉ Young Peoples’s digital art initiative; A way to connect kids and young adults through a pandemic, through art. It tapped into the most awe-inspiring creativity and delivered the most poignant digital visual record, Now moving into its fourth year This Is Art! continues to go from strength to strength and I am so thrilled that in collaboration with the RHA & Creative Ireland Programme, RTÉ can bring together under one roof some of artworks uploaded over the past three years for everyone to celebrate, appreciate and enjoy. I would particularly like to commend all of the artists that have taken the time to participate over the past three years, congratulations to everyone involved – This is Art!!!”

For more on the exhibition, visit:

For more on This is Art!, visit

Pictures Andres Poveda

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