A YOUNG artist from Newtownards is the picture of success after winning a talent spotting competition run by the renowned artist Terry Bradley.
The hugely talented Holly-Mae Greer is a First Class Honours graduate in Fine Art who is funding her creativity by working as a part-time care worker in Newtownards.
Her contemporary painting on canvas, entitled Noodle Bar, was such an eye-catching entry that Holly-Mae was announced as the winner in the 19-23 age group category of the Bradley Art Prize competition.
This earned her the right to showcase her work in the Terry Bradley Gallery in Victoria Square, Belfast, and at the office of the NI Executive office in Brussels.
There was one final accolade for Holly-Mae and her work when Noodle Bar was announced as the overall Bradley Art Prize winner from amongst 300 entries.
As such, Holly-Mae has been commissioned to create a bespoke piece of artwork for Titanic, Belfast.
Terry Bradley, who is self-taught, is a familiar figure in the borough courtesy of his gallery in High Street, Bangor.
He launched the art competition back in November to provide a platform for young creatives in two age brackets – 14 to 18 and 19 to 23.
Entries were judged by leading names on the arts scene, including Terry Bradley himself and his wife Ashley, Hollywood film producer Martin Brennan, NI Executive Brussels Director Aodhán Connolly, and Bradley Art Prize sponsor Stephen McQuoid, Regional Director for Ireland at Radius Connect.
A total of £4,000 was shared in cash prizes, along with art materials for the top winners and their schools and colleges.
Additionally, the winning artist in each category – and the runners-up – will have their work framed and displayed at a special week-long exhibition at the Terry Bradley gallery in Victoria Square Belfast, launching on August 24.
The artists also had their artwork on display at the launch night of Exodus, an exhibition at Titanic Belfast featuring the works of Terry Bradley, which opened on Saturday, July 1st, and at the office of the NI Executive Office in Brussels.
Terry , who began his career at the age of 14, said: “From its inception, we wanted this competition to provide a unique platform and showcase for creative flair, thought and inspiration – and we’ve been floored not only by the demand to enter but by the quality of work, the technical ability and composition shown and by the professionalism which our young people have demonstrated in their love of art.
“We are absolutely delighted that the inaugural Bradley Art Prize has resonated with our brightest, youngest aspiring talent and are grateful to everyone who entered and for the schools and universities which provided support, to help determine the top two winners in each category. Many congratulations to everyone who took part.”
The major art initiative was designed to encourage more young people to consider turning their love of art into a long-term career, offering local artists the chance to display their work internationally.
Artists shortlisted prior to the winners’ announcement in both categories included Charlie Beimers from Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, Sofia Wilcock from Regent House in Newtownards and Loren Allen from Comber.
The artwork from these shortlisted artists is currently being exhibited at the Terry Bradley Exodus exhibition at Titanic Belfast as part of a competition for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ – where visitors can vote for their favourite shortlisted artist to win a cash prize of £250.