THE work of a New York-based Davenham artist was one of the finalists of a prestigious art competition.

Amy Hughes, 24, has been living in Manhattan since 2014, having studied a Masters of Fine Art at the New York Academy of Art.

Since graduating last May with a US equivalent of a First, Amy has been exhibiting her work in shows, and working as a teaching assistant at the NY Academy of Art for a painting class with acclaimed artist Monica Cook and a drawing class with Michael Grimaldi.

She recently sold work in auction at ‘Take Home a Nude’ at Sotheby’s NYC.

This month, Amy was a finalist in the Westminster Kennel Club painting competition – the US version of Crufts, which is held at Madison Square Gardens.

“The painting was on show and made into postcards available for purchase,” Amy told the Guardian. “It also ended up being the chosen image used on the tickets.

“The painting was of my friend Lauren Orford’s dog Lottie (of Plumley), and I depicted Lottie as if she were resting in Central Park.”

Currently Amy works from her studio on west 39th street with a few of her old classmates and friends from the Academy.

Amy’s work focuses on the human body, particularly its flesh.

“Living in New York has been very exciting, I’ve really fallen in love with the place,” she said.

“I moved to NYC back in 2014 because I knew that it was really at the forefront of the art world and where my work would be best received.

“At the Academy, I knew I’d be refining and learning more traditional skills in service of creating contemporary art.

“It was also a way of being further exposed to the New York art scene, the Academy's events such as Tribeca Ball invited prominent gallerists and celebrities such as Naomi Watts and Robert DeNiro (among others) into the studios and buying work.”

Amy now plans on applying for a fresh visa, often referred to as the ‘Artist visa’, to allow her to stay in NYC.

She said: “The process requires a lawyer petitioning for you, and I hope the visa requirements don’t change, the country really needs artists – they play an important role in society.”