A local Moree artist was named the grand prize winner for Bank Art Museum Moree's 2020 Moree Portrait Prize recently.
Bruce Cantrill won the C&W grand prize of $1500 for his adaptation of the world famous Mona Lisa.
This year's judge, David Darcy, winner of the 2019 Archibald Prize People's Choice was in Moree for the opening on Friday, November 20.
Darcy is based in Murrurundi and was excited to visit BAMM to see our local artists' hard work.
Tracey Buxton, from Inverell, received the Mehi Gallery award for her work Rob.
Darcy appreciated her use of "colours and tones to tell a story".
The Irritek Local Prize of $500 was awarded to Jessica Tribe for her work Bright Eyes. Darcy commented on the "beautiful soft use of tones with a lovely expression".
Cathy Corderoy was awarded the highly commended prize for her painting Lehlia.
2020 saw an increase in the number of entries for the under 18s category, as school students and teachers used art as an outlet throughout the pandemic.
The four categories for under 18s were generously sponsored by B&W Rural.
The winner of the $300 prize for the 16-18 years prize was Ebonie Seer for her pencil work entitled Mrs McLaren (Nanny), which Darcy described as "very emotive, (Ebonie) has captured the mood and feeling".
Jacinta Webb received highly commended in the 16-18 years section with her painting titled Fairytales.
Lucy Carter was this year's winner of the 13-15 years section, and Darcy admired her use of soft pastels as well as the painted eyes and lips in her work, Ava.
Highly commended was awarded to Max Mitchell for his portrait Aunty Enid. The judge described this work as having "good use of tones and shading to show and define age".
The winner of the 9-12 years section of the portraiture prize was Poppy Barwick, from Gravesend, who took home the $100 prize for her age group. Darcy described her entry as "well constructed with lovely flowing lines", while Alfred Duncan received highly commended for his "very precise line work".
And finally, Joe Picone, from Moree's Saint Philomena's School, won the 5-8 years section taking home $80 in prize money. Darcy described his work as having a "great use of imagination!", while Eliza Amos' self-portrait received highly commended.
BAMM director Vivien Clyne said she was very excited to see the number of entries this year more than double from last year, to a total of 449 entries.
"We are thrilled to have so much interest in the 2020 Moree Portrait Prize," she said.
"This year has presented challenges for us all, but has also created opportunities for people to explore their creativity.
"In particular, our local schools have embraced art as an outlet for their students.
"It's wonderful to have so many artworks by local and regional artists on our walls."
The Moree Portrait Prize exhibition will run throughout December and January, with visitors to BAMM encouraged to vote in the Rhodes Kildea People's Choice Prize.
"The winning artist will receive $500 so make sure you come along and choose your favourite work," Ms Clyne said.
BAMM would like to thank C&W Financial Services, B&W Rural, Irritek, Rhodes Kildea, the Mehi Gallery and Hugh and Gina Livingston for sponsoring the 2020 Moree Portrait Prize.
The Moree Portrait Prize exhibition will run until Saturday, January 16, 2021.
The winner of the $500 Rhodes Kildea People's Choice award will be announced on January 6.