THE one-man exhibition of new works by William Cunningham in the PortstewART Galleries, which opened on Saturday, got off to its usual brisk start according to galleries' owner Pauline Hughes.
"Almost 50 per cent of the 40 works on offer sold before the close of opening day and we are optimistic that the next three weeks will see most of the remainder find new homes," she said.
Cunningham is no stranger to the north coast resort.
This, his fifth annual exhibition at PortstewART, is a reflection of his continuing popularity with Ulster collectors and overseas visitors alike.
Perhaps predictably it is his local views which sell fastest.
A fine depiction of golfers at the dramatic Fifth at Royal Portrush could have sold several times says Pauline, and a number of his beach scenes were also snapped up by eager buyers to the disappointment of those less quick off the mark.
Cunningham's enduring appeal appears to arise from a combination of factors.
His skill as a draughtsman has long been acknowledged as have been his sensitive portrayals of rural life.
In recent years his bold use of golds, reds and blues has brought him to the attention of a younger, more contemporary audience.
That he has effected this transition without alienating his more traditional collector base is a testament to the loyalty of his supporters as well as to the integrity of his art.
His rising prices - a 20" x 30" oil on board now fetches over pounds 1,500, are no discouragement to sales either.
The show continues until August 17 …