Valorie Snyder, Juror
Best of Show: “Connections” Mixed Media by S. Williams
This painting is a winner on several levels: The use of light, contrast, illusion of depth and perspective. The subtle colors in the background support, but don’t compete with, the people in the foreground. The red and white notes in the foreground lead your eye through the seemingly random clusters of people. My eye was drawn left to right, first to the grouping in white toward the front left, next to the group in the back center, and last to the group in dark colors on the right. The bright light on the bus draws you into the picture, but the focal point is the one solitary figure in black. The red and white colors are repeated in the bags she is carrying. The scene made me wonder who these people are and where everyone is going. Looking deeper, I noticed a figure in the background to the left of the light that appears to have a red face. It looks like a mask. Then I noticed others appear to wear masks as well. Is everyone? It’s hard to tell. This painting is masterfully done, weaving a story as the viewer is drawn in.
Second Place: “Well Aged” Watercolor by Brian Serff
This is a well crafted portrait in watercolors, a medium that is particularly difficult for portraiture. The clothing is loosely rendered with soft colors which are repeated in the background. These colors beautifully set off the details in this man’s face and dress. He leans slightly into the picture giving it a bit of movement. Where is he from? What is the story of his life? We are given clues, but left to wonder.
Third Place: “The Spell” Soft Pastels by Stacey Roberts
Movement is the compositional tool that drew me into this piece. Primarily a complementary color scheme, this painting is a colorful mix of blues and oranges, with added colors to keep it interesting. The swirling lines direct the viewer’s eye around the painting. The orange and purple lines in the lower left lead the eye upward to the orange peaks at the top left. The blues in the sky move across to the orange peak on the right and then back down to the cat, waiting in the shadow of the lower corner. It seems to be dreaming of escape to this beautiful wilderness.
Best use of theme, Being Human: “The Human Condition” Leather, Fiberglass and Metal, by Pam Schmidt
I chose this piece for the intriguing mix of materials and shapes, the creative way it is sewn together and the questions it poses. This artist is clearly skilled in the use of the unusual combination of materials. Look closely to read the text written around the figure. This sculpture summarizes the theme of the show. (Continued)
- “Little Stinker” Oils by Teresa Maone
This is an engaging classic portrait in oils. I chose it for the obvious technical skill shown and the way the artist brought out the ornery personality of this little guy. The careful use of shadow shapes and edges in the face effectively conveys the three-dimensional form.
- “Faith and Hope” Glass by Sally Van Der Camp
I was drawn to the simplicity of this little piece. The warm analogous color scheme conveys light. The two diagonal white shapes could suggest a cross, but also movement, as though the piece could fly away. The circle in the center serves as a focal point and anchor, allowing for interpretation by the viewer. There is always temptation when making art to add more “stuff” to it. This piece beautifully demonstrates that less is more.
- “Being of One Mind” Photography by Carl Paulson
The ambiguity of this photograph captured my attention. It could be another gorilla behind him, or not. The placement of the gorilla is a bit to the left of center. The angle of the arms creates a solid, pyramid shape composition. Hanging vines create strong verticals to help anchor the scene. The softer, lighter background in the upper right corner contrasts with the deep purple colors of the gorilla. This photo conveys the double mindedness we sometimes feel. There is an irony here, too, featuring an animal that is like humans, but not human, for a show about being human!
- “Meditation” Digital Print by Jacqueline Shule
This is both a simple and a complex piece. It is both solid and ethereal. The monochromatic color scheme creates a quiet, peaceful mood, while the profusion of lines implies activity and movement inside. I like the subtle way the cool gray colors balance the warm gold.