Celebrate with Color
- Shaman airbrush acrylic painting by Ernie L. Fournet of New Iberia, LA
- Lost Childhood: One Hundred Hail Marys for Julia archival inkjet print by Suzanne Gonsalez-Smith of Grand Forks, ND
- Night Bird mixed media collage by Teresa Blatt of North Hills, CA
- Bridge to Paradise recycled paper on wood panel by Eloa Jane of Reston, VA
- Climbing Red photography by Maura Harrison of Fredericksburg, VA
- Demarcation Lime metallic print photography by Penny Parrish of Fredericksburg, VA
- Poppy Tapestry acrylic on canvas by Michelle Vezina Peterlin of Evansville, IN
- Stork wood & steel sculpture by Charles Bergen of Washington, DC
- Trip to the Beach refractive photography by Cathy Leaycraft of Baltimore, MD
- Weaving Spiders - Come Not Here acrylic by Kathryn Green of Fredericksburg, VA
- Xylem 2 mixed media on paper by Anna Velkoff Freeman of Virginia Beach, VA
Juror's Statement—As artists we are entertainers! We strive to create a work of art that will engage the viewer, inviting them to pause, enjoy and wonder at all it contains, rather than just stop to read the label and price tag.
A painting that grabs the viewer in from afar and keeps the eye wandering into the parts of art created with care by the artist is a winner. In art, whether abstract or realist, a painting, photograph or sculpture; presentation, technique, composition, color, value, texture, shapes and line all must be executed with care.
In choosing the art for this show, and knowing I was restricted by choosing the number that would fit in the space, I chose the ones that first grabbed me from a distance and were still intriguing upon close inspection. I sought to find the unique eye of the artist, no matter the media. I kept in mind the theme of this exhibit, "Celebrate Color". Manet is quoted as saying, "Black makes all the other colors sing." You will see its skillful use as well as the lack of color contrasting with the use of brilliance from the color wheel.
I paid attention to craftsmanship in how finely the art was executed as well as attention to the framing. Sadly, I was distracted by some poor framing and presentation in several nice pieces. They lost my vote. Framing should enhance a work of art as part of the whole and not be a distraction.
I have been entertained by great masterpieces of art, studying them in depth, for many years as a museum docent at the Chrysler and the VMFA along with visits to major museums worldwide. I have also worked in numerous media and styles in creating my own art, and have taught workshops, so I greatly appreciate the art presented here. My congratulations go to all the artists and those who have captured the awards. You have entertained me! Thank you for engaging the eye of this viewer in your wonderful and varied work!
1st: ERNIE FOURNET, "Shaman" This is a master artist at work in photorealism! A true celebration of all colors in the spectrum is skillfully painted in hard-edged watercolor with movement in the figure inviting us to dance with him! The contrast of the figure against a cool, dark, textured background gives great depth and a sense of mystery to the composition. This piece is entertaining enough to keep the viewer engaged for quite a while. Congratulations for winning first place for this handsome piece!
2nd: SUZANNE GONSALES-SMITH, "Lost Childhood One Hundred Hail Marys for Julia" I was drawn to this work because of the skill of technique used by the artist in not only setting up an interesting still life but also in photographing it. A celebration of neutrals here is in contrast to the intense colors found in most of the other works in this exhibit. The sepia tones with the addition of grays and a touch of pink are arranged in a beautiful and subtle composition. The elements tell us a mysterious life story from childhood to the remains of bones at the end. Congratulations on creating such a masterful photograph with an intriguing title!
3rd: TERESA BLAT, "Night Bird" The elements of art are in abundance in this mixed media piece! There is interesting movement, unexpected placement of objects, mysterious shapes, a feeling of danger and disaster looming. The cool, high key colors set with the addition of all colors, BLACK, makes for a very strong work of art with very interesting positive and negative shapes. Congratulations on achieving one of the top awards in this strong show!
It has been a joy for me to jury this show and to view a grand kaleidoscope of original images from 59 talented artists from 13 different states. Being limited by gallery space, I was able to choose less than a half of the awesome 125 pieces entered for this exhibit. I was pleased to find so many professional, creative expressions in various media. This exhibit attracted a majority of fine photographs with artists excited by the new age of digital photography and all the interesting techniques that are possible for manipulating images in new ways. I found myself more than once asking, "How did they do that?" The element of mystery entered into a number of choices!
My criteria in choosing the pieces for this show included the artist's knowledge of composition, skill of technique, elements of design, the use of the parts of art including line, shape, value, color, texture, movement, as well as feelings for the subjects portrayed, and their skill in drawing in the viewer ... AND also how professionally the art was presented as a total package.
"Celebrate Color", is a wonderful study in how the different artists interpreted this theme. Red seems to be the dominate color choice for most of the artists' celebrations! Red is a color that is traditionally connected with danger and excitement. Some of the artists expressed high key color, some low key, a few use complimentary colors successfully, others used beautiful plays of warm and cool colors. A few artists played with every color while always giving the viewer a resting place from the busyness. Others picked a dominance of black and white or neutrals. As Renoir is quoted as saying, "Black makes all the other colors sing", so this is refreshing to see in a show dominated by bold color choices.
Congratulations to each artist whose work was chosen for the awards. Know that being in this show is, in itself, an award. I feel those pieces not chosen could make another fine exhibit. It is with great pleasure that I wish you all continued journeys of creativity, making our world a more beautiful place for having your creations in it.
I was so pleased that I was allowed to choose more HONORABLE MENTIONS than were originally planned. The competition was tough and my personal tastes began to enter into the choices. Congratulations to all for your work I found irresistible!
ELOA JANE- "Bridge to Paradise" This piece has amazing technique in the art of collage. It is very busy with its texture and many colors used, but the artist has skillfully given the viewer resting places among the busyness. This took a lot of thought, as in the hands of a less skilled artist the composition details could easily overwhelm the viewer.
MAURA HARRISON- "Climbing Red" I congratulate this photographer on her good eye! This composition could have easily escaped a lesser artist as just another flat surface! But she saw the subtle interaction of horizontals, circles and vertical lines within the monochromatic color transitions in a field of red.
PENNY PARISH- "Demarcation Lime" What a totally interesting and mysterious photograph! Color really sings here ... Dominate orange with line of lime green against a strong value change of a deep dark with a touch of blue emerging from the depths of that dark. The composition is one I could call perfection with its three vastly different divisions of color.
MICHELLE VEZINA PETERLIN- "Poppy Tapestry" The color and textural interest immediately caught my eye in this piece and kept me engaged studying the overall patterns and color variations created in acrylic. The complementary, dominant colors of red and green arranged in a variety of sizes and shapes add much interest in manipulating space and movement.
CHARLES BERGEN- "Stork" This piece is what we might call minimalism at its finest! It is an interesting and fun sculpture in a mix of steel and wood, two media not often used together. There is no true realism here but we know immediately what it is. Compare it to his other sculpture, a more realistic fish, and decide for yourselves which is more interesting and creative. I voted for "Stork"!
CATHY LEAYCRAFT- "Trip to the Beach" This beautiful photograph with its high key color harmony had me asking, "How Did She Do That". The mysteries of Photoshop! Even without the title, I knew I was going to the Beach. The mood is romantic and the day at the beach is will be heavenly. Good job for creating mood.
KATHRYN GREEN- "Weaving Spiders-Come Not Here" Here my love of nature and all its fascinating critters entered into my choice for giving this acrylic painting a mention. In spite of the subject matter, it is a fine painting with very interesting texture in the low key background. The Black-eyed Susan, in brilliant yellow standing out in stark contrast to the field of blue-green, would be just another flower painting without the added interest of the spider and its beautifully executed web.
ANNA VELKOFF-" Xylem 2" This beautifully rendered gouache on paper brings back memories of my days of great fascination with drawing microscopic studies in biology. To a less attuned viewer, the shapes become mysterious and interesting. The hi key, analogous colors have beautiful variety, and the defining dark outlines adds even more interest. I would be interested in knowing if this artist is a medical illustrator.