IN A fitting tribute to the late Penny Paniz one of her good friends has taken out the competition created in her honour.
The Penny Paniz Arts Acquisitive Competition was won by Lynne McQuillan, who spent many hours painting with Mrs Paniz before she passed away last year.
Mrs McQuillan's artwork featured the Murrumbidgee River to keep in line with the "importance of water" theme for the competition.
"I was really surprised to win ... it was a really good feeling," Mrs McQuillan said.
"The competition is a good thing for Leeton artists because they get to showcase their work.
"Penny and I were close friends, so it was pretty special for me to win this."
The winners of the competition were announced at an official opening last Thursday evening at the old State Bank building, where the works were on show.
Other winners included Ann Rayment in the highly commended section, Cassandra Wynan was named the young artist winner and the people's choice also went to Ms Rayment. The exhibition was open throughout the weekend as part of the Art Deco Festival, with hundreds streaming through the doors.
Leeton Shire Council community services officer Jackson Goman said the opening night was also popular.
"We had about 130 people there, which included Penny's family members," he said.
"A cousin of hers from Wagga came and played the didgeridoo, which was a nice touch to the night.
"In the two front rooms of the exhibition were Penny's works and then the rest was the submitted entries for the competition."
A theme for next year's competition was announced at the opening, with artists encouraged to use "Leeton's identity" as their inspiration.