Sara Lavelle, who graduated from her Illustration undergraduate degree last week, was nominated for the ACS Studio Prize.
The winner of the award – which is announced in mid-September – will receive a cash prize of £6,000 and a studio space in the UK city of their choice.
The judging panel consisted of artists Eileen Cooper OBE, Rob and Nick Carter and Lady Bridgeman CBE, founder of the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS).
The judges were highly impressed by Sara’s figurative painting and portraiture, with Lady Bridgeman praising the “maturity” of the work.
Sara said: “Winning the ACS Studio Prize would mean everything to my career. I feel grateful that I have finished my degree with a sense of purpose, excitement and confidence in what I do.
“I am bursting with ideas and am excited to keep painting. My work is starting to get recognised and I feel as though I am on the cusp of establishing a professional practice.”
Sara added that her art was “integral to who I am” and that she “never feels more alive than when I am fully involved in a project”.