A LOCAL artist has been named a finalist and won a painting prize for her watercolour work in a national art competition.
Leah Bullen took out the top spot in the Trustee’s Watercolour Prize and was made a finalist in the Wynne Prize in which she now has a work displayed at the Art Gallery of NSW.
“I am really excited and it is the first time I have ever entered so to win and be a finalist is a wonderful feeling,” Bullen said.
“It's great to be included among such an esteemed group of female artists.
The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize are annual competitions that run in conjunction with each other and displayed at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Bullen has also been a finalist in the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, the Pleysier Perkins Art Prize and the Windmill Scholarship.
The watercolour artist will also be on the front lines as guest judge for the University of New England School Acquisitive Art Prize at the New England Regional Art Museum next week.
“NERAM's director Robert Heather approached me to be a judge for the competition,” Bullen said.
I think it’s a great opportunity for young artists.
“It’s also really well supported by the university and I think it’s really great that they support young budding artists.
“Archibald Prize winner Louise Hearman made a speech saying ‘to the powers that be, it is really important to recognise the contribution to every part of life that the arts make and how it would be really great for people to keep being supported in that way’.
“But my message to young artists is if you really want to be an artist then don’t let geography or isolation get you down, just keep going.”
Bullen is also completing her Doctor of Philosophy at the Australian National University in Canberra.
The New England School Acquisitive Art Prize is an annual competition which aims to encourage young people to have a positive engagement with art.
UNESAP finalists will have their works exhibited at the New England Regional Art Museum from Friday July 29 to Sunday August 14.
The exhibition opening and prize-giving ceremony will take place next Friday July 29 from 6pm.