10:49AM, Monday 26 September 2016
Prime Minister Theresa May praised Maidenhead's talented artists for their diverse work at the Maidenhead and Me art competition awards on Saturday.
This year's competition, organised by the Maidenhead Civic Society, had the theme of 'Why I love Maidenhead'.
Artists were tasked with depicting their favourite aspects of the town.
Entries included calm scenes of the Thames and the hustle and bustle of the town centre on market day.
The contest was set up to highlight the successes of the town's regeneration programme, which began in 2011.
Cash prizes for the winners of the adult and under-16 categories were presented at the Nicholsons Centre by the Maidenhead MP and civic society chairman Bob Dulson.
Mrs May said: "It's good to see so many different views about why people love Maidenhead.
"People entering the competition, the adults and youngsters, are all part of the community who make it such a great place to live.
"I think Maidenhead has a great future. Change is actually taking place and change for the better."
Adult winner Sarah Luton, created her oil painting titled Busy, Busy, by standing in central Maidenhead across several days.
The professional home-based artist from Oaken Grove said: "It was very hard because people were moving all the time.
Because it was on market day it was really busy.
"I only finished it about 10 days ago, it was wet paint when I handed it in."
The 52-year-old added: "It's nice to actually get the public to see what I do.
"I've been painting all my life so it's really good to get some recognition."
Irena Kirton won second place in the adult's competition for her painting, It's always been the river for me, followed by Laura Pavelova's First Day in Maidenhead.
Rachel Jones came first in the under-16s contest with her photo entry, Through the Lens, followed by Durur Nair's My Home.
Claires Court student Georgina Helmuth's My Favourite Park and Temiloluwa Odesanya's Roller Disco at the Magnet both won joint third place.
Mr Dulson said: "The range we've got is better and the theme was I thought really quite restricted.
"I think Maidenhead has got more art and cultural groups than any towns of a similar size.
"The sole purpose of creating it [Maidenhead and Me] was to support and to understand the Maidenhead regeneration project and encourage people to think about it.
"I think it's been really quite successful."
The contest is supported by the Nicholsons Centre, Enjoy Maidenhead, the Advertiser, and The Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust.
The entries are on display in the Nicholsons Centre, opposite Tesco, on Wednesdays to Saturdays 10am-4pm and Sundays 11am-4pm, until Sunday, October 9.
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