Exceptional list of winners announced at 55th Scone Art Prize opening night

THE Scone Arts & Crafts Centre was a buzzing hub for artistic talent on Friday night as the 55th instalment of the town's prestigious art prize was launched.

A full house enjoyed a night of canapés and wine as they admired the 220 masterpieces in a variety of mediums.

An exceptional list of winners were once again announced, including up and coming talent and seasoned artists.

Incredibly, Newcastle based artist Eugenia Dunlevie took out the $5000 Bobby Paradice Prize for the second year in a row.

This year's judge, Maree Skene, arts administrator from Maitland Regional Art Gallery, said she felt drawn to the work.

"I felt the work was a really well executed landscape," she said of the final choice, a beautiful landscape oil painting entitled "Approaching Storm".

"There are an astonishing amount of landscapes in this exhibition in the Bobbie Paradice Prize," she added.

Ms Skene said the work stood out due its "painterliness, its texture and the artist's way of expressing the landscape not realistically but as a reflection of their inner thoughts".

"Her work did stand out throughout the entire collection of works, even though I didn't know who each artist was, you can certainly see a similarity in an artist's style and her work is very much like that."

She said the final decision was very difficult with such a strong and varied collection of works.

"I knew there was 220 works but I didn't know what they were going to be or what the quality would be," she added.

"There was a great range of local works, and that's something that really stood out to me, the amazing breadth of quality within the local section."

The night was also a chance for an up-and-coming young talent in the art world to shine.

Fourteen-year-old Chelsea Irwin from Muswellbrook took out third place in the Bobby Paradice Open Section for her work "Metallic Black Cockatoos".

"I really get a sense of Chelsea's sense of design in this work," judge Maree Skene commented.

"I think she will have a strong future ahead of her."

Marie Lunney took out the $2500 Frans Kernker Memorial Prize, for local artists, with her work "Daybreak II".

Local artists also took out the majority of the remaining sections, with Scone artist Betty Lambley winning the Watercolour/Pastel section for her work "Before the Drought" and Scone artist Teresa Byrne coming away with the top prize in the Print/Drawing section for her piece named "Rooster".

The Scone Art Prize exhibition is open daily until September 15 for $2 entry and artwork is available for purchase.

For more information visit the Scone Arts & Crafts Facebook Page.

Full list of winners and highly commended: 

Section 1 - Open - $5000 Bobby Paradice Prize

Winner - Eugenia Dunlevie - "Approaching Storm"

Second Place - Gaye Shield - "Feel the Chill"

Third Place - Chelsea Irwin - "Metallic Black Cockatoos"

Highly Commended - Chris Reichel - "Sneaker"

Section 2 - Local - $2500 Frans Kernker Memorial Prize

Winner - Marie Lunney - "Daybreak II"

Second Place - Jan Pryke - "Two Little Brown Jug"

Third Place - Betty Lambley- "Before the Drought"

Highly Commended - Teresa Byrne - "Rooster"

Section 3 - Watercolour/ Pastel - $1000 

Winner - Betty Lambley - "Before the Drought"

Second Place - Norma Johnston - "Say Cheese"

Third Place - Judith Hoste - "Morning Mists Mt Olympus Tas"

Highly Commended - Natasha Soonchild - "Lady of the Lowlands"

Section 4 - Print or Drawing - $1000 

Winner - Teresa Byrne - "Rooster"

Second Place - Ros Elkin - "Everlasting"

Third Place - Eugenenia Dunlevie - "Bernie's Washing"

Section 5 - Miniature - $1000 

Winner - Noeline Millar - "The Artist Plein Air"

Second Place - Cheryl Barrett "English Cottage"

Section 6 - Sculpture and Ceramics - $1000 

Winner - Jan Pryke - "Two Little Brown Jugs"

Second Place - Polina Karuso "Fatigue"

Third Place - Roger Skinner "First Continent"