Big thank you from

Claire crowned Young Artist of the Year

At the Island Arts Centre is Claire McAlister being congratulated by Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee and its Chairman Richard Yarr US1109-403PM Pic by Paul MurphyCLAIRE McAlister has been named as the winner of the second annual Young Artist of the Year Award organised by the Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee.

Claire beat off stiff competition to secure the title and a cash bursary of £1000 to assist with her professional development.

Recent graduate Claire is a jewellery designer from Glenavy and specialises in contemporary pieces incorporating exotic wood veneers and silver and often featuring moveable geometric elements.

Claire plans to use her bursary to purchase a profiform — a specialist piece of cutting equipment that will enable her to diversify and experiment with new designs.

She has already won a number of awards and commissions including a prestigious partnership with Newbridge Silverware.

Richard Yarr, Chairman of Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee, said: "We are delighted to be supporting someone as talented as Claire through this Award scheme.

"Her work is exceptional and we trust that this Award will enable her to build on her impressive achievements to date and reach even greater heights."

The Young Artist of the Year Award was introduced in 2008 with the aim of contributing to the individual career development of an outstanding local young artist.

In 2008 the Award went to local dancer Karen Fortin to support her in her first year of a challenging college course in Dance.

Ulster Star