Top art award for sculptures

Leslie Crawford, President of Ballymena Rotary Club, present the first place award for the NI Young Artist of the Year to Sasha McVey, during the recent presentation evening in The Braid. Included are Andrew Haire (4th), Naimh McConaghy (2nd), Roy McKeown (Chairman NI Young Artist of the Year) and John Brodrick (Vision Express). Absent from the photo is Jessica McFee who finished third. INBT17-203AC

Leslie Crawford, President of Ballymena Rotary Club, present the first place award for the NI Young Artist of the Year to Sasha McVey, during the recent presentation evening in The Braid. Included are Andrew Haire (4th), Naimh McConaghy (2nd), Roy McKeown (Chairman NI Young Artist of the Year) and John Brodrick (Vision Express). Absent from the photo is Jessica McFee who finished third. INBT17-203AC

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Glenarm’s Sasha McVey was crowned Northern Ireland Young Artist of 2015 at a glittering awards ceremony at the Braid Museum and Arts Centre.

The talented 22-year-old also received a £1000 cash prize and a trophy.

Using both porcelain and black clay Sasha creates exclusive sculptural forms, influenced by the sea, forest, coast and glens.

Her work is handmade using various skills and techniques, enhancing the clays and ceramics.

Sasha graduated from the University of Ulster with a BA Honours Contemporary Applied Arts degree and is now a full time ceramic artist.

Vision Express were the main sponsor of the competition, which was organised by The Rotary Club of Ballymena, together with the Braid Museum & Arts Centre in Ballymena.

The competition was supported by Artworks NI and Raceview Mill.

The work of all the award winners will remain on display until April 23 in the Braid.

After this examples of the winners work will be on exhibition in Raceview Mill in Broughshane.

In 2nd, 3rd and 4th place were Niamh McConaghy, Jessica McAfee and Andew Haire respectively.

Artists receiving a highly commended award were Timothy Adams, Sarah McClure, James Dalton, Matthew Allen, Brian Kielt, Gary Dougan, Jennifer McNeill and Alice Blackstock.

Artists from all over the province entered the competition.

Chairman of the Judging panel, Rotarian and gallery owner Roy McKeown said: “The competition is designed to encourage serious young artists from 18 to 30 years old.

“It is exciting to think the difference that winning the title can make to a young artist’s career.”

He thanked the main sponsor, Vision Express without whose generous support the competition would not have been possible.