It was a moment Amorelle Dempster won't forget in a hurry.
Standing in an art gallery surrounded by 23 paintings of her, with the daunting task of choosing which one will receive a $1000 prize in the prestigious 2021 Maitland Portrait Prize.
"The quality of these artists was extraordinary, I loved them," she said.
"They really captured me. They represented me and my work.
"It was really hard to choose one. I wanted to look at them from the artist's point of view to see what the artist was seeing in me, so I took a lot of time deciding on my choice. The prize is worth $1000 so I wanted to make sure I chose the artist who best represented me and my work."
The winner, Ms Dempster's choice and people's choice awards will be announced on Sunday.
Residents are encouraged to drop into the Hunter Artisan Gallery in East Maitland this week and vote for their favourite work.
"Some had me joyous, some were serious, there was one in pastels and there was a pen an ink one which I really liked as well," Ms Dempster said.
"They portrayed me and all of this gorgeous produce that is grown in our region - and the vegetables looked so amazing! There should be a prize for vegetable painting.
"That red dress looked amazing. Sue Brown, who made it for me, came as well and she was really excited that they had picked up all of the details in the dress like the gathers on the shoulder and the piping. She was really excited about that."
When asked which one she would want to hang in her house, Ms Dempster said it would be one that captured her and her work, and the theme of abundance.
"The one that I would want is one that shows me smiling and surrounded by vegetables. I wouldn't pick it on the quality of the work but on the message that it sent," she said.
Ms Dempster again praised the artists for their incredible skill.
"I can't understand why these artists aren't entering the bigger art prizes lie the Archibald because they have so much talent and we are so lucky to have them here in Maitland."
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