From almost 1000 votes, a painting by local artist AJ Taylor has won the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2018 People's Choice Award.
The work titled Sapling Forest (Morning Light), by the Woombye-based artist, received the most public votes during the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2018 exhibition to take out the $2500 People's Choice Award sponsored by Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.
Arts Portfolio Cr Rick Baberowski said that each year he really looked forward to seeing what the People's Choice would be.
"It's never predictable, but I can see the appeal of local artist AJ Taylor's 'Sapling Forest' and why it has clearly captured the imagination of the viewing public," Cr Baberowski said.
"It's worth remembering that the Sunshine Coast Art Prize exhibition includes a high calibre of artists from right across Australia, so it's particularly pleasing to see a local artist receiving this award and being recognised for his talent by gallery visitors and online voters."
Winning artist AJ Taylor said he was absolutely delighted to receive the People's Choice Award.
"The fact that so many people took the time to vote having visited the gallery proves a genuine popular interest in art," Mr Taylor said.
"In the last few years the Sunshine Coast Art Prize has become an increasingly important and truly national art prize.
"I think Hamish Sawyer (gallery curator) and the team at Caloundra Regional Gallery should be applauded for growing the national profile and prestige both of the prize and the gallery, while continuing to acknowledge and support local Sunshine Coast artists."
In his artist statement for Sapling Forest (Morning Light), Taylor said: "Sapling Forest (Morning Light) depicts a dry eucalypt forest seen from one of the main tracks of Parklands Conservation Park, north of Nambour, on an April morning.
"Deeply aware of the history of Australian landscape painting, Sapling Forest (Morning Light), gives a deliberate and obvious nod to the Heidelberg school.
"Far from being a traditional landscape, however, it self-consciously tests the essential paradox inherent in all representational painting in which two-dimensional abstract qualities of line, shape and colour compete with a sense of illusionistic space."
For more details about the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, visit council's gallery website.