18 February 2019
Former Cheltenham Ladies’ College pupil Sara Lavelle, who graduated from College in 2013, has been selected to take part in the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2019 competition.
Sara, whose work draws on human psychology, philosophy and spirituality and focuses predominantly on portrait painting and figuration, is one of only a small number of artists to have been invited to paint in the live rounds. Sara describes being selected for the competition as ‘both the most exciting and the most terrifying thing I have experienced’ and says that ‘it is amazing to have gained recognition and validation’ for her work.
As a Sixth Former, talented artist Sara was recognised with a College Art Scholarship, enabling her to take part in regular exhibitions and affording her with the opportunity to visit galleries, art events and attend lectures. She says that her time at College ‘gave me the most valuable art education to date’ and that she ‘would not be where I am, or have the confidence to do what I do, had I not had that’.
After leaving College, Sara completed a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Falmouth University and then went on to study Illustration BA (Hons) at the University of Brighton. She also studied painting at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minnesota, for a semester in 2016 as part of her bachelor’s degree.
She will appear in Series 5 of the Portrait Artist competition, which runs alongside an annual Landscape Artist competition; both are open to artists of all ages, amateur and professional. The show is hosted by Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan, with art works judged by award-winning artist Tai Shan Schierenberg, independent curator Kathleen Soriano, and Art historian Kate Bryan. The winner will receive a £10,000 commission for a major British institution together with £500 of art materials from Cass Art.
The series is available on the Sky Arts channel from Tuesday 12th February, and will run for 10 episodes.