Artist ‘paying it forward’

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A chance to meet the artist and the sitters involved in one of Wanaka’s latest art projects has proved a great success.

Artist Stephen Martyn Welch (pictured) spent seven months creating portraits of people for a collection he named “Everyone Deserves a Portrait”.

The works were on display in Wanaka on Friday, in an event which allowed the sitters to see their portraits for the first time and the general public to view the works.

Welch said the entire process was about “paying it forward” and to prove “everyone deserves a portrait”.

The exhibition was attended by about 1500 people, which was a pleasing turnout for a small town, where there were many other events on at the same time, he said.

The portraits will be given to the sitters, to complete the cycle of paying it forward. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/VICKY FULTON