Friday, May 17, 2013

Artists Choice Reception Memorable

Kathy Berls' glowing sunflower painting, untitled, was presented by her husband, Dick, and son, Scott, to the City of Lakewood in a moving memorial and reception for the Artists Choice Exhibit at the Lakewood Cultural Center Thursday evening.  Kathy Hodgson, City Manager of Lakewood, also spoke of Kathy and her enormous contribution to the arts community, calling her the "mother" of art, being responsible for the purchase and placement of much of the sculptural installations in the city, being an advocate for youth, and a founding member of the Inspire Arts Week in Lakewood.

Many attended the evening reception and enjoyed dessert and punch, and applauded the award winners.

  Juror Mark Silvers, although not present at the festivities, said the quality of the show was incredible and would have given at least 25 awards instead of the 9 maximum. His comments on the award winners are as follows:

1.     Kathy Berls Award – Oil Design                                                                                
     “Pampered” oil, Barbara Benik                                                                                 
      A true artist sees art in everyday life as Barbara has done in this well designed painting of her canine couch potato catching some rays on the couch. She has edited out all of the distracting visual elements in the scene to create a composition of shapes, values and colors in which she expertly answers the question, “what is light doing?”  The powerful arrangement of a few shapes, the subtle variations of warm and cool colors and the attention to detail  in Barbara’s painting showcase her excellence as a painter. She leads the eye into  the painting on the bottom right along the shadow of the couch cushion to the dog's face where we pause for a few enjoyable moments in the play of light and shadow on the dog. Then Barbara leads you out of the painting with the dark edge of the top of the couch.
2.     1st Place Award                                                                                                                    
    “Along Duck Creek”, pastel, Donna Sorensen                                               
     This pastel landscape by Donna Sorensen is about as good as it gets Her painterly realism and attention to detail create an artistic illusion of a scene along Duck Creek inviting you to stop and savor the play of light in the grasses and on the surface of the water. Along with a great composition we are treated to a great variety of shapes and a strong visual structure of light and dark values. The icing on the cake is the amazing attention to detail and interaction of hard and soft edges. Donna’s landscape is a feast for the eyes and an inspiration to all of us fellow artists.

3.     2nd Place Award  “Their  Labor”, charcoal , Lyn Dam  
     The foundation of this excellent drawing by Lyn Dam is a strong design. Hidden within the drawing is a story that we think we know part of but we wonder about the details. The subject of this drawing grips us emotionally while the draftsmanship holds our attention with the expert use of a wide range of values and orchestration of hard and soft edges to direct the eye to the center of interest; the workers young focused face.
4.     3rd Place Award ” Visitors”, watercolor, Carla Stoltzfus  
     Carla’s painting is a wonderful modern still life. She designed the shapes well with a good interesting use of the negative spaces.
5.     Merit Award 1, “Chaos in the Forest”, watercolor, Andrew Dubois    
     Andrew’s painting is an exciting and vibrant expression of the basic visual notes of a landscape. If this were a musical piece it might be a very lively and interesting movement of modern jazz. There is a great sense of movement and rhythm throughout with the powerful use of lights and darks, warm and cool colors and bright and dull hues. The expressionistic use of brushstrokes creates a composition on the verge of chaos and yet beautifully balanced.
6.     Merit Award 2, “Three Koi”, oil, Vina Dam                                                        
      A simple subject handled with artistic excellence. The key principles of design here are movement and rhythm. The dark negative shapes are designed well with the rhythmic swirling shapes of the fish. The use of white leads the eye through the composition well. The realism is accurate and yet painterly in a beautiful way.
7.     Merit Award 3. “Peregrine Falcon”, color photograph, Paul Gesso                 
     This is an incredible photograph with a delicately balanced composition. The light hitting the golden colored weeds balances the dark area on the left to bounce the viewer’s eye back to the falcon. The falcon is captured and presented in such a way as to beautifully focus on the individual animal.
8.     Merit Award 4, “Afternoon at Sedona", acrylic, Sandra Danley            
     Sandra’s painting of a waterfall and pool captures the play of light upon the water beautifully. She creates interest with a good variety in the arrangement and shapes of the rocks. The balance of light and dark values and warm and cool colors leads the eye through the painting well.
9.     Merit Award 5, “Iris”, acrylic, Katy Haas                                                                
     This painting of an iris has an attention to detail that is amazing. Katy designed the dark negative shapes with good variety and also created a beautiful play of light with the dark shadows on the flower. The use of warm and cool colors on the flower gives good depth, and the shadow shapes lead the eye throughout the composition.

Congratulations to all the happy award winners!  The Artists Choice exhibit runs through June 14 upstairs at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Pkwy in Lakewood.  Hours are 8-5 M-F, 10-2 Sat.

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