Amanda Gallagher, 5, likes drawing and painting and has her sights set on becoming an artist.
Amanda Gallagher, 5, likes drawing and painting and has her sights set on becoming an artist.

Young artist snares big prize

By EMMA CORNFORD

IT seems the Clarence Valley has a new Van Gogh on its hands ? in the shape of five-year-old Amanda Gallagher.

The South Grafton Infants School student dreams of one day becoming a professional artist one day, and is one step closer after winning a statewide art prize.

Amanda took home the $50 first prize in the Kindergarten to Year Two section of the University of New England's School Acquisitive Art Prize for her work Acrobatic Angel, a collage praised by well-known artist and judge, Fay Porter, for its 'exuberance'.

"I want to be a painter. I loved drawing it and then painting it," Amanda said yesterday.

"Mrs Hollbrook (Amanda's teacher) bought things from the shop and I stuck them on it to make it look pretty. It's my favourite picture I've done."

Acrobatic Angel is now hanging alongside other winning artworks at the New England Regional Art Museum ? a place Amanda said she will certainly be visiting.

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"We're not too far from Armidale. I'll definitely be going to see it there."

Amanda's father, Wayne Gallagher, said he was extremely proud of his daughter's achievement.

"She's really excelled in art and the funny thing was that not long before she won I had been telling her that artists can make a lot of money from selling paintings," he said.

"Then she came in and said 'Dad, I just made my first $50'. I didn't know what she was talking about, but when she explained it all, I was shocked. It was great. She'll probably be drawing pictures all the time now and wandering around the house asking how much each one is worth."

Amanda said she was pretty sure she would spend her $50 prize on something art-related.

Now in its third year, more than 300 students from schools across NSW entered this year's competition.

There were four other final- ists from South Grafton Infants and Primary ? Emersyn Lee Burton, Curtis Gibson, Talia Rose and Jack McLachlan.

Executive Dean of UNE's Faculty of Education, Health and Professional Studies, Professor Victor Minichiello, said the School Art Prize was a celebration 'of young people's talent in rural and regional Australia'.



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