The 2020 Juried Exhibition at the Blue Ridge Arts Center in Seneca opened on Jan. 17 and will run through Feb. 27. Juror Susan B. Wooten selected 84 pieces for exhibition from over 120 pieces submitted. Ten Anderson Artists Guild (AAG) members were among those selected: JoAnne Anderson, Debbie Bzdyl, Carolyn Gibson, Sharon Jacobs, Julie Lamp, Brenda McLean, Donna Persinger, Lori Solymosi, Diana Walter, and Michelle Winnie.
The Best in Show Award ($500 plus a solo exhibition) went to Melody Davis for What Gramma Knows (The End Zone).
Three AAG members also won awards. Brenda McLean won the $250 Drawing Merit Award for Road to Highlands. Michelle Winnie won the $200 Dohr Award for Awaken. Carolyn Gibson won a $100 Honorable Mention Award for Empty.
Here are reflections about their award-winning pieces:
Brenda McLean’s Road to Highlands (pastel)
My painting was inspired by a day trip to the Ridge through upstate Georgia along Lake Hartwell. The scenery in our area is always gorgeous and I often paint the hills and lakes. This painting is a culmination of several iPhone photographs I've taken, and not very good photographs at that! It won the drawing award, which is interesting. Pastellists think of themselves as painters, but pastel is a dry medium so the argument can be made that it is a drawing. I am pleased to have been honored, whatever the category.
I am often interested to note the different ideas artists maintain about what makes a good composition for an art piece. I decided to break a few of those usual guidelines to see if I could make a "renegade" success. This piece is pastel on sanded 400 grit Canson paper.
I am a big fan of pastels. They go down like oils, but any commingling of hues must be done by layering, contrasting strokes, or under painting. So I always think I am going to create that masterpiece if I buy one more gorgeous collection of pastels since you can't mix colors as we do with paint.
Inspired by my award, I will be teaching a class in pastel landscapes at the Blue Ridge Arts Center in early February.
Michelle Winnie’s Awaken (acrylic)
My inspiration was when a new friend of mine commented on how he loves oysters and beautiful women. I got the beautiful women right but unfortunately don’t know my shells!!
I did under drawing on tinted canvas with charcoal. I really liked the charcoal rendition I had on the canvas. It was hard to put paint on top of it. I also enjoyed making up the shell and background but had a few stumbling blocks when it came to choosing color. I wanted to try painting the shell with a “mother of pearl” look.
Carolyn Gibson’s Empty (photography)
This is a continuation of my mailbox series. This is a slot designed to hold brochures, which was empty—thus the title. I used the gallery app on my cell phone to drop it and to alter color. The challenge in this piece had to do with the color and abstracting it into a composition.