By Jed Lanyon
Yarra Ranges Council announced the winners of the Not the Archies portrait competition at an awards night at The Memo on Wednesday 30 October.
Mount Evelyn resident Ashlee Lambton was awarded the Not the Archies Open Category Award.
“It was honestly amazing, I was completely dumbfounded by it,” she said.
“I’ve got a unique painting style and I’m still quite new to it. I have been doing oils for maybe two years now and there were just some gorgeous paintings there too.
“I wasn’t sure if my painting style was everyone’s cup of tea.
“The week before, my family walked the streets of Yarra Glen and Healesville and we saw some amazing and beautiful portraits… They were incredible.”
Ms Lambton painted a portrait of her mother Alyson May, a local artist who has dedicated her time to teach at Woori Yallock Primary School and Chirnside Community Hub.
She entered her portrait into the competition just days before the official deadline.
“She’s a pillar of the art community. She’s taught everyone, from beginners to professionals,” Ms Lambton said.
“She’s painted so many faces but i realised that not many paintings of her exist.
“I thought she deserved to have her face up there for once.”
Yarra Ranges Mayor Tony Stevenson congratulated all the winners and thanked the 235 community member who submitted a painting for Not the Archies.
“There’s not a strict requirement of materials or subject matter, and some people’s entries to Not the Archies over the years may have been their first attempt to pick up a brush and create an image.
“That effort, of having a go and seeing your work presented publicly, can spark a love of creating art and could set someone on the track of forging an artistic career.
“Putting yourself and your art out there can be difficult, but so rewarding for yourselves and others. Congratulations to all of our entrants, finalists and winners on taking that step.”
All Not the Archies entrants have been hung in shopfronts through Yarra Glen and Healesville as part of the Not the Archies Street Gallery.
Cr Stevenson said that voting remains open for the Audience Choice award – where members of the public can vote for a specific artwork, using a four-digit code that accompanies each painting.
“If any of these artworks caught your eye, I encourage you to visit the Not the Archies website and cast your vote for the Audience Choice award,” he said.
The Street Gallery will remain up until 15 November, when voting closes.
For more information about voting, including information on where specific artworks are hung in Yarra Glen and Healesville, visit https://bit.ly/2JG6sKb.