|The Neil Shawcross Collection -
Neil Shawcross was born in England in 1940. He was a lecturer part-time at the then Belfast College of Art and became full-time at the Ulster College of Art and Design in 1968. During the 1970's he did two major portrait commissions, Colin Middleton and Derek Dougan, and in 1975 he won the Royal Ulster Academy Conor Award.
Shawcross has had major one-person exhibitions throughout the United Kingdom and has consistently exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Belfast. In 1978 he was commissioned by the Ulster Museum for a portrait of the novelist, Francis Stuart, and the following year he painted Alderman David Cook for the Lord Mayor's Gallery at the City Hall.
A portrait of George R. Cowie is at Queen's University. He has won the Royal Ulster Academy Gold Medal on no fewer than five occasions 1978, 1982, 1986, 1994 and 1997 and in 1978 he became an academician.
In 1987 he visited the Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts U.S.A. and painted at Vermont Studio Centre in 1991, two years later he was visiting lecturer at Pennsylvania State University, and returned there in 1994 and 1996, again on an exchange visit. It is generally recognised that Neil Shawcross is easily within the top half dozen artists currently working in Northern Ireland.
His contribution to the Irish art scene and further abroad, has been magnanimous discerning collectors of Irish art appreciate the immense quality of his work. This is borne out by the fact that there is a Shawcross painting in all major public and private collections throughout Ireland. He still lectures in Belfast.