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BBC Cymru Wales' first Exhibitionist revealed

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BBC Wales Arts BBC Wales Arts | 11:57 UK time, Thursday, 19 July 2012

On last night's The Exhibitionists, Efa Thomas from Criccieth was revealed as the series winner, making Julia Manser from Swansea the runner up.

Efa Thomas, winner of The Exhibitionists, with artist Shani Rhys James, whose work Efa chose for part of her exhibition.

The BBC Cymru Wales series, a collaboration with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, followed five individuals with no formal art background as they were set a series of tasks, the first time ever a museum has allowed such extraordinary access to its important art collection for members of the public to handle, discuss, and put on show.

Helping them along the way have been two esteemed figures in the Welsh art world. Osi Rhys Osmond is a highly respected Welsh painter and a Senior Lecturer of Art at Swansea Metropolitan University. Karen MacKinnon is Exhibitions Curator at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea.

As finalists, Efa, a musician and Cardiff journalism student originally from Criccieth, and Julia a charity sector worker and keen Swansea City FC follower, were given their own exhibitions in the National Museum's new wing for modern and contemporary art, Gallery 24. Those visiting the gallery were asked to vote for their favorite exhibition. Efa received the most public votes.

"I took part in The Exhibitionists because I'm always trying new things," says Efa. "I think it's great the museum gave members of the public the chance to do this because as our national museum, it belongs to every single person in Wales.

"The Exhibitionists programme and the mentors brought out my creativity and encouraged me to work independently and do whatever I wanted. I doubt I would ever have done anything like this without it. It shows that we're all capable of creativity, and all capable of curating exhibitions worthy of being shown in the National Museum of Wales because we all have stories to tell."

The exhibitions can be seen at the National Museum Cardiff until August 19 and the pieces of art can be seen on the Your Paintings website. The series is produced by Gwynedd-based Cwmni Da TV company.

Watch the last episode on iPlayer.

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