Artists in for galleries’ top prize

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Local artist are among six from Yorkshire, short-listed for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition at London’s prestigious Mall Galleries next week.

Helen Cassidy of Harrogate and Glynis Mills from Tadcaster will be exhibiting alongside four other Yorkshire artists, all vying for the £10,000 top prize this summer.

Helen, whose home and studio are in Harrogate, has exhibited locally and nationally and won prizes for her work.

“The latest was a residency at Nature in Art in Gloucestershire,” she said. “A few years ago, I took great pleasure in donating one of my paintings which was auctioned for a Rwandan children’s charity internationally and supported by a past employer, raising over £5,000.

“I love sketching and drawing outside and celebrated this by self publishing a book The Malham Experience, featuring my sketches, photographs and finished paintings.”

Award-winning artist Glynis Mills rediscovered her love for print when a lucky find of an Albion Press at a local auction house rekindled the flame. Twelve years later, she has won numerous print and painting awards including the Curwen Press Award at the Mall Galleries, the International Print Award at the Laing Gallery and most recently the Cuneo Medal for the best work at the Mall.

She worked in London and in York as an illustrator/designer before taking the plunge and working full time as a printmaker/artist.

Her latest commission is for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and his racing empire.

One hundred and thirty six pieces have been shortlisted for the £10,000 sponsored top prize with the judges making their final selection on Mondaymorning, ahead of the private view and prize-giving that evening.

Continuing the diversity of the natural world in art form, The North Gallery will host work by award-winning artists’ photographer Andy Skillen, sculptor and 2015 Wildlife Artist of the Year, Nick Mackman and children’s author and illustrator, Catherine Rayner who is partnering with the foundation to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her character Augustus the Amur tiger.

Everything on show is for sale with profits supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s wildlife conservation projects across Africa and Asia.