YOUNG artists from the Kiama municipality have enjoyed a stroke of good fortune recently.
The second of several regional exhibitions of the best art works by 2013 Higher School Certificate visual arts students opened last month at the Wollongong Art Gallery.
The exhibition runs until July 13, and is part of the 31st ARTEXPRESS, which showcases the best works of art completed by 225 students from government and non-government schools in NSW as part of last year's HSC.
More than 300 students' works were nominated for this year's ARTEXPRESS exhibition.
Of these, 30 of the best works are on display at the exhibition at the Wollongong Art Gallery, such as those of Kiama High School students including Grace Alice Stovin-Bradford with a painting titled Velocity, and Lachlan Lee Hall's drawing, We Are One.
The remaining 250-odd works selected will be on display in venues throughout the state for the remainder of 2014.
Gerringong resident Mr Hall, 18, recently began his first year of a bachelor of science (advanced) degree at the University of Wollongong.
He said although he was unlikely to pursue art as a career, he still enjoyed it.
"Thanks heaps to my art teachers at school, who kept pushing me," he said.
"I haven't done much drawing [since graduating from school last year].
"I do a little, but just for the fun.
"I take photos as well, which I've been doing a fair bit.
"I really enjoy art; I like looking at and doing it.
"Ever since I was a kid, I've loved doing art.
"[Nowadays] it's just for fun, but not something I've ever seen as a career."
ARTEXPRESS is a joint venture of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Education Standards New South Wales (BOSTES) and the NSW Department of Education and Communities, and is managed by the department's Arts Unit.