John's iconic Calton Hill scene nabs art prize
STATELY old homes sheltering under the purple umbrella of Calton Hill's famous jacarandas is a view that has won the hearts of locals and visitors alike for more than a century.
It's also a winning scene for Gympie artist John Kelly who has captured the iconic scene on canvas.
John was awarded the Cecile Steenbergen Memorial Encouragement Award in the recent Rush Art Competition for his rural-inspired painting titled Plainlands.
But it is his painting titled Calton Hill that has captured imaginations in the People's Choice Award which gives the audience an opportunity for vote for their favourite artwork.
Gympie Regional Gallery exhibitions officer Julie Pratt said the People's Choice vote was often for a work that had not won a prize.
"John entered Calton Hill in the open award but it did not receive any prizes from the judges," she said.
"However, it looks like the visitors all enjoyed it."
John, who received $150 from section sponsors Sally and David Gartshore, has spent much of his life watching the changing of the seasons on Calton Hill.
"With the older Queenslander homes, crowned by St Pat's and the colour of the jacarandas, that particular scene is an iconic Gympie view," he said.
John has been dabbling in art most of his life and now, recently returned to his hometown, has more time to dedicate to his painting.
Having received both the People's Choice Award and the Encouragement Award, he is now contemplating the possibilities of an exhibition.