DESPITE being selected to have her work showcased at the Red Earth Gallery in Mooroolbark, Irene Swensen is adamant that being a full-time artist isn't in her immediate future.
"I never thought art would ever be a professional career," she says. "It's just kind of an escape."
The 17-year-old Yarra Hills Secondary College student's work is on show as part of the Yarra Ranges Council's VCE 'creative showcase'. The event has given local students the chance to display their talents to the wider community and celebrate the region's unique artistic culture.
Although she plans to go into event management and music once she finishes VCE this year, Irene was thrilled with the opportunity to have her work viewed by the public.
"It's a chance to get young artists' names out there and show the community the type of talents available."
Representatives of the exhibition visited Yarra Ranges schools at the beginning of the year and chose students whose artwork they wished to have on display.
"We were told about it at the start of the year," Irene says. "Someone from the exhibition came and looked at our work . . . luckily, three of my pieces were chosen."
The VCE showcase is on display until March 15 at the Red Earth Gallery, Mooroolbark. The showcase, at Jarmbi Gallery, Upwey, closes March 17. For more information, visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au