AN emotive portait titled African Boy by teenage artist Tara Cheers won the People's Choice award at the Youth Week art exhibition at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in April.
Tara, a 17-year-old Year 11 student from Xavier Catholic College, painted the portrait for a Year 10 art project, and submitted if for the exhibition.
She painted the piece from an image she had seen in her studies.
She said she was attracted to the innocence of the boy, yet also felt his suffering.
"But he was so peaceful," she said.
There were close to 50 pieces on display in the Youth Week exhbition, received from every secondary high school in the shire.
Gallery co-ordinator Ingrid Hedgcock said people "really connected" with the boy's portrait.
It's the first award Tara has won for her art.
And she will receive $200 in iTunes vouchers as her prize.