Self-portrait seals Sky Arts Appearance

Artist and Old Brentwood Taro Qureshi is celebrating being chosen as a contestant in the much-acclaimed Sky Arts Portrait Artist of The Year competition.  

Twenty-four-year-old Taro’s appearance on the popular Arts Show, hosted by Dame Joan Blackwell and Frank Skinner, follows his successful entry submission of a self-portrait.  

Filming for the competition heats took place last summer at The Wallace Collection in London, home to one of Europe’s finest art collections. Taro, who left Brentwood in 2011, explained: “We were mic'd up and given croissants and a chance to talk to the other contestants who were all very accomplished professional artists. Although the rest of the day will be captured pretty well on TV - it will never illustrate accurately the bewildering experience of meeting Frank Skinner!”

The winner of the competition will receive a £10,000 commission and £500 worth of art materials from Cass Art. Presenters Bakewell and Skinner are joined by award-winning artist Tai Shan Schierenberg, art historian Kate Bryan and independent curator Kathleen Soriano.

Taro explained: “For the heats we were split into groups of nine, with groups of three within that all painting different celebrities. Mine was Jacob Anderson, who plays Grey Worm on Game of Thrones. Then, one person is chosen by the judges from each heat to progress. The heat with me in it should be on TV next Tuesday! (7th Feb)

Headmaster Ian Davies said: “We wish Taro all the best of luck in this prestigious competition and look forward to watching him next week.”