It’s Freddie, steady, go for top prize

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NORTH Tynesider Freddie Nichols has been taken to art by painting enthusiasts in the US.

The 47-year-old, of Monkseaton, took top prize in the Hidden Thoughts of LD competition held at the National Center for Learning Disabilities in New York.

The American judges were impressed by the insight and perspective the amateur artist’s work provided into living with a learning disability.

Freddie’s win earned him $500 in prize money.

Freddie said: “I was really pleased with the award.

“I’ve done lots of work with canvases but this was one of my best ones.”

Freddie lives in supported housing provided by New Prospects Association, a Monkseaton-based organisation set up to provide support services to people with learning disabilities across the north east.

He attends weekly classes at North Tyneside Art Studio in North Shields, and Andrea King, its director, said “He is a joy to have around the studio and has made us all very proud.”

Ellen Vick, chief executive of New Prospects, added: “We’re all extremely pleased for Freddie as we know he is a talented artist, and it is exciting to see him gain recognition for his efforts.”