Hamilton students have won the top three awards in an art competition for high schools in Waikato, Coromandel and Auckland.

Eva Shen from Hamilton Christian School was awarded first place in the Paterson Burn Optometrists' 2018 Excellence in Art Competition at the awards ceremony on last week at Creative Waikato.

Hillcrest High School student Ella Silvester won second place and Hamilton Girls High School student Savannah Mattyasovszky was awarded third place.

Alinal Khanal of Morrinsville College took out the People's Choice Award.

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This year's competition theme was 'The art of deception — do my eyes deceive me'. The student artists were free to use their own interpretation of the theme, drawing from personal, local or international events as inspiration.

This year's judges were Waikato art personalities Craig McClure, Jennie De Groot and Carole Shepheard.

From the judges' results, the first prize is $1000 ($500 to the student and $500 to the school), second prize is $600 ($300 to the student and $300 to the school) and the third prize is $400 ($200 to the student and $200 to the school).

Ten other entries received commendation awards including Dar'ya Starykoua (Hauraki Plains College), Alina Khanal (Morrinsville College), Lloyd Manozca (Fraser High School), Gunn Kim (Hamilton Boys High School), Amy Barnes (Sacred Heart Girls College), Shona Shin (Hillcrest High School) and four students from Hamilton Christian School — Olivia Barry, Wayne Speedy and Kimberley Grey, as well as Ella Rose Uren-Louisson who was the 2017 winner of the art competition.

A total of $1854 was raised, of which $370.80 will go to Diabetes Waikato.

"The calibre of work these young artists have created is incredible and we are delighted to see so much interest with the amount of entries this year," Paterson Burn Optometrists' director Adrian Paterson said.