Well known Shelley Clark has just added to the island's reputation as a home for artists after her first sale of a piece of artwork at an exhibition in Wellington.
The 43-year-old had one of her creations entered in the IHC Art Awards for 2012 after five years of taking part in art classes at the Spark Centre of Creative Development in Morningside.
The awards are for the intellectually handicapped and Shelley, who has Down syndrome, was "stoked" to discover her painting called Flowers was one of 30 pieces to make it into the exhibition out of more than 500 entries from around the country.
Artwork from all the finalists was exhibited at the Tea Gardens Museum Building, Tokomaru, in Wellington.
Shelley and her father Ron Clark were away and unable to visit the exhibition but Mr Clark says his daughter was "over the moon" to learn she was a finalist in the art awards.
"She had to show everyone her certificate."
They were doubly excited to learn Shelley's painting had sold for the sum of $400.
"The five years of art classes have definitely paid off," Mr Clark says.
"She usually likes to keep her paintings but we're running out of space."
Mr Clark says Shelley was "rapt" to learn her painting had sold.
Her "buddy" Palm Beach resident Barbara Wilkinson accompanies Shelley to Auckland for her much loved art classes.
Ms Wilkinson says: "The group members have all been going for a few years so they all know each other and have become a really happy group. It's an excellent setup. I think Spark does a fabulous job."
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