Portland Central students Mackenzie Robertson and Olivia Evans have had their artworks selected for two major awards in the NSW Operation Art Exhibition.
Year one student Mackenzie has had her artwork selected for the Touring 50 Award.
Her artwork will tour NSW galleries in 2021, opening first at the Art Gallery of NSW in March 2021. It will then find its home in the permanent art collection at the Children's Hospital at Westmead.
Mackenzie was among 50 artworks out of almost 500 entries to be selected.
Year four student Olivia had her work selected for the Art Bank Award.
Her artwork will be gifted to Bear Cottage or donated to a regional hospital for display in their paediatric units.
Both students currently have their artwork being showcased at this year's Operation Art exhibition at the Armory Gallery, in Sydney Olympic Park.
Mackenzie said that she loved art and being creative.
When asked by her teacher to create an artwork that was happy and uplifting, Mackenzie drew her brother, with a big love heart around him.
Mackenzie's mother Rochelle Robertson said she was extremely proud of her daughter.
"I'm very proud of her, it is such a huge honour to have her artwork selected," she said.
"She definitely got her creative flair from her Nan."
Mackenzie said she enjoyed creating things like phones from cardboard boxes and building things.
Portland teacher Veronica Slaven said the school was ecstatic with the result.
"All schools were invited to submit up to four artworks that are happy and up-lifting since it's for the Children's Hospital to hopefully cheer up some kids," she said.
"We were just excited to submit some entries but to be selected for the awards is amazing.
"It is really good for such a little school."
The annual exhibition, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, features almost 500 artworks from students in Kindergarten to Year 10 at schools across NSW, created with the aim of using art to bring joy to sick children in hospitals.
Heidi Windeisen, Operation Art Officer at the NSW Department of Education's Arts Unit said this year's exhibition was made more significant because of the impact of the pandemic.
"Operation Art is a program that many schools have been engaging with since its inception 25 years ago," Ms Windeisen said.
"Each year teachers know they can inspire their students to create artworks for sick kids in hospital, to give purpose to their work and understand that visual arts can promote a feeling of joy to those who spend much of their time in hospitals."
She said it was exciting to see the artworks that had been created by students while many of them were learning from home.
"Many students have created their artworks at home with only materials which were readily available to them, and many have created works as a direct response to their own experiences of isolation," she said.
Westmead Children's Hospital art curator Ivy Baddock had the difficult task of selecting 50 artworks for the hospital's collection.
"I am excited every year to see what the students have created for Operation Art and the impressive standard of work makes my job so much harder," Ms Baddock said.
"The artworks offer patients and their families respite from the clinical hospital environment by helping reduce stress, make our hospitals more welcoming and enhance spaces where quiet moments can occur."
Operation Art is an initiative of The Children's Hospital at Westmead in association with the NSW Department of Education and in collaboration with Sydney Olympic Park Authority.
Operation Art is open daily from October 15 until November 15, 10am to 4pm at Armory Gallery, Sydney Olympic Park. Entry is free.