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Winnie, Moore, Root Take Top Awards at AAG Show

The 2019 Anderson Artists Guild Juried Show opened on July 19 and will run through Aug. 21 at the Anderson Arts Center, with all award winners hanging until Aug. 29.

Represented in the show were 136 pieces by 69 members. The juror was Nathan Cox of Anderson University.

The $750 First Place Award went to new member Michelle Winnie for Orchid (acrylic). The $500 Second Place Award went to Kathy Moore’s I Will Protect You! (wire, found objects). The $300 Third Place Award went to Gloria Root for La Plaza (photography).

Ten merit awards were given out. The $150 Merit Award went to Lori Solymosi’s Boardwalks Broads (mixed media). The $125 Merit Award went to Debbie Bzdyl’s Beautiful Chaos (acrylic). Merit Awards of $100 each went to JoAnne Anderson’s Maybe Yes Maybe No? (graphite), Evelyn Beck’s Petting Zoo (fiber), Matthew Brophy’s From under the Lidded Eye (ceramic), Carolyn Gibson’s Double Dare (photography), Jane List’s Azalea Spring (watercolor), Hamed Mahmoodi’s Perseverance (acrylic), Stan O’Bannon’s Still Standing (watercolor), and Barbara Yon’s Refuge (acrylic). These merit awards were donated by Diann Simms, Ann Heard, Marion Fanning, Marion Hursey, Diana and Steve Walter, Jane and Dr. Robert Friedman, Sue and Jerry West, the Thursday Art Gals of the Anderson Arts Center, the Anderson Arts Center, and the Friends of the Guild.

There were also two purchase awards of $150 each. The Col. Dale and Mary Ellen Ellenburg Purchase Award went to JoAnne Anderson’s Purple Iris (watercolor). The First Citizens Bank Purchase Award went to Carolyn Gibson’s Stripped Down (photography).

Here are reflections from the top three winners.

Michelle Winnie, Orchid

Orchid represents my “personal garden.” This painting includes my loving daughter and a precious orchid I nursed to flower. Both are special; however, the orchid is starred in this piece because of its struggle to come back from its suffering and bloom its brilliant flower. This was communicated by the punch of color on the flower of the orchid which is located in the middle of the painting, and my daughter, who is dulled in color and leans to the edge.

This painting began at a previous painting’s end. The canvas Orchid was painted on was once a finished painting of something else. The previous work did not come to say or give the feeling I wanted, so I turned the canvas upside down and began Orchid on top of it. I allowed some of the life from the old painting to stay visible, adding life to the new piece.

Combining the idea of Orchid with the presence of a previous painting started busy and confusing. I wanted the finished painting to have a quiet feel about it, yet I still wanted the piece to feel alive. It was a constant push and pull of what to leave in and what to take out, especially since I chose to use a limited palette over something that was quite colorful. As always, when painting a piece, I have a word or feeling that I want to communicate. The feeling I wanted for this painting was “quiet.” As I drew or made a stroke with my brush, I would say “quiet” over and over until I created my idea of quiet.

Kathy Moore, I Will Protect You!

“There’s no greater warrior than a mother protecting her child.”—N. K. Jemisin

I Will Protect You! is inspired by my daughter and daughter-in-law. As first-time mothers, they felt the instantaneous bond seconds after the birth of their little boys. With each day they spend with their child they are finding the innate need to protect their child is incredibly powerful.

This idea has been “bouncing” around in my head for quite some time. I have repeatedly used nests in my work over the years and this was something I knew I wanted to incorporate again. I chose to paint the baby shoes with a patinated copper look—reminiscent of vintage copper dipped baby shoes. The visual permanence of the shoes represents the lifelong bond of mother and child. The wire dress symbolizes my daughter and daughter-in-law with the full skirt of the dress acting as a protective covering-an umbrella of sorts. The grid in the skirt mimics garden fencing—again symbolizing the protective measures a mother will take for her child.

Conveying the idea was not as challenging as the actual construction of the piece. I used over 1000 feet of rusted wire—the amount of wire along with the roughness of it proved to be extremely taxing on my hands. Although the roughness was physically difficult, it proved to be helpful in the stability of the dress.

All in all, I am very satisfied with I Will Protect You! and am honored that the juror selected it for an award.

Gloria Root, La Plaza

In this photograph, a myriad of colors flap and sway in the breeze in the outdoor plazas of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We’ve seen several plazas with this type of art in New Mexico and Arizona, especially in the Pueblos.

Capturing that movement in focus plus having that perfect blue sky day can be luck with having just the correct setting at that moment. Patience is the best policy. When one has such colorful moments, time is irrelevant. I always carry a camera with me because one never knows when the eye spots that memorable photo.

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