A former Kerikeri High School student has received an award worth $6000 after earning the top marks in the country for his scholarship painting assessment.
Eli Molloy-Wolt, 18, earned a Top Subject Scholarship - worth $2000 a year for three years as long as students maintain at least a B-grade in tertiary studies - after achieving the highest grades in New Zealand Scholarship painting of the 2880 students who entered last year.
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Molloy-Wolt, who is now studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, hadn't really thought about the fact he was top in the country, and was not expecting it.
"I was ecstatic," he said.
Molloy-Wolt said, for the scholarship, he had to submit a portfolio which featured all the art he had done over the years, all the competitions he had entered, and all the exhibitions he had been a part of.
Molloy-Wolt has been surrounded by art his whole life. His mum, Jane Molloy-Wolt is a professional painter.
"It was just a path I wanted to take that interested me a lot. I've always been drawing from a young age - since I was a little kid - and it kind of developed over time," he said.
Molloy-Wolt is a painter too. He does a lot of collage, cartoon and fine line work.
If you've been to the Kerikeri Skate Park, you will be familiar with Molloy-Wolt's art.
The brightly coloured mural on the ramp - which features unusual characters - was painted by him.
"I've always been into a lot of Japanese cartoons when I was little so I guess the colours come from that - crazy characters and vibrant colours. So I just incorporated that into my style.
"But mostly I just paint straight out of my head with not much influence from anything around me. I just paint these weird characters and objects," he said.
Last year Molloy-Wolt was third in The Wallace Secondary School Art Awards, and second in 2018.
He was also awarded the Chrystabel L Aitken Scholarship for Fine Arts which was worth $1000.
Molloy-Wolt said his mum and his art teachers at Kerikeri High School had been very helpful, nurturing and supportive towards him.
Single subject awards at Northland schools
• A single subject award is a "one-off" grant of $500 per subject (maximum payment is $1000)
• Kaitaia College - 1
• Kerikeri High School - 6
• Okaihau College - 3
• Te Rangi Āniwaniwa - 1
• Whangārei Boys' High School - 2
• Whangārei Girls' High School - 2