Artist first to receive university award

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Critically acclaimed portrait artist Frances Bell has become the first person to be awarded the University of Sheffield Portrait of a Woman Prize.

The award has been set up celebrate and make more visible the contributions of women to the university.

Frances has been asked to mark the event by painting a portrait of physics professor Gillian Gehring, the only woman to reach such a post.

She trained in the classical tradition in Florence at Charles Cecil Studios from 2001 to 2004.

Her work has been displayed in various exhibitions including The Not The Turner Prize Exhibition in 2004 and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition from 2005 to 2013.

In 2012 she had her painting The Postman accepted into the BP Portrait Award. As well as undertaking over 200 private commissions, Frances has received a number of prestigious awards.

“I am very honoured to be selected for this prize,” said Frances.

“I agree that the visibility of women in university and academic life needs to improve, and that the nomination of Gillian Gehring to sit for a public portrait project is a great place to start.”