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24 AAG Members in Juried Show at Anderson Arts Center

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Juried Show at the Anderson Arts Center is going on—virtually (at least for now). Juror Joseph Peragine selected 129 pieces from among the 262 submissions from 127 artists.

The $2,000 David Vandiver Best of Show award went to Kay Binger’s Vertical Blues. The $1,000 Russell Warren Second Place award went to Katya Cohen’s OI. The $500 Third Place award went to Kent Ambler’s Afterglow, which also won the $1,000 Callie Stringer Rainey Award. These three works are pictured above.

Twenty-four Anderson Artists Guild members had work accepted into the show.

Members with two accepted pieces are Al Morris, Barbara Mickelson Ervin, Carolyn Gibson, Diana Gilham, Evelyn Beck, John Urban, and Matthew Brophy.

Members with one accepted piece are Alice Burnette, Ann Heard, Barbara Whitney, Brenda McLean, Craig Johnson, Debbie Bzdyl, Diane Lee, Diann Simms, Hamed Mahmoodi, Jamie Hansen, JoAnne Anderson, Julie Lamp, Kathy Moore, Lori Solymosi, Michelle Winnie, Polly Richardson, and Stan O’Bannon.

Nine AAG members won awards.

$500 Purchase Awards went to Barbara Mickelson Ervin’s Hills of Peacock and Gold, Matthew Brophy’s 80,000 BTUs as well as his Shrouded Gathering, and Stan O’Bannon’s Serenity. Brophy also won a $200 Fine Craft Merit Award for 80,000 BTUs.

The $250 Watercolor Award in Memory of Ruth Hopkins by Claire Warren went to Al Morris’ Savage Mills #3.

A $200 Merit Award went to Evelyn Beck’s The Bridge.

$100 Merit Awards went to JoAnne Anderson’s Ain’t Gonna Do It, Julie Lamp’s Infinity, Lori Solymosi’s Treasures, and Brenda McLean's From Here to There.

Reflections and pictures from the award winners about their pieces are below.

Complete results are available at A virtual show will be available at beginning April 8.

Barbara Mickelson Ervin’s Hills of Peacock and Gold (mixed media on paper)

I first did an acrylic painting-of sorts on two pieces of 22x30" Rives BFK paper. The paint I used was the Golden Iridescent and Interference metallic. This provides an under painted surface that glows and has a warm/slightly shiny effect.

The "monotype" part of the process is made by rolling ink onto a large piece of plexiglass. I use oil-based printmaking ink. I will smear the ink in places or textured with a paintbrush or just leave it as a smooth application of ink.

I then place the BFK paper on top of the plexi and run it through the press. The ink is transferred onto the prepainted paper through the pressure of the press. The ink will sometimes be absorbed into the paper and at other times it will be just on the surface depending on where the acrylic paint is. Again I will roll another color of ink on the plexiglass. I then place pieces of handmade paper with a deckled edge on top of some of the ink, leaving some of the ink exposed and some blocked out by the paper—like a stencil. I repeat this until I have a full sheet or it makes me happy!

I decided to cut it in half and weave those two pieces together to make something nonobjective.

Matthew Brophy’s 80,000 BTUs and Shrouded Gathering (cone 6 ceramics for both)

The medium is cone 6 ceramics. Shrouded Gathering is made from a white clay containing (but not limited to) porcelain. 80,000 BTUs is made from a red clay (that comes from Georgia) also fired to cone 6. Each piece has the design drawn by hand (with pencil) on both the inside and outside of the bowl (any drawing lines burn off during the firing process). I have a thing for symmetry and balance that shows in my bowls. I work with glazes that I know go well together. The relationship and marriage of glazes is mostly responsible for my signature style. Each piece is brush glazed by hand taking between 20-25 hours a piece. I never dip, pour or use an air brush which gives me the control I need to make my pieces unique. Just the bottom of each bowl has 7-8 glazes to get the color and design on them.

Throwing large bowls has its challenges. First, large bowls are very susceptible to cracking during the drying process. I found through trial and error that if I throw the bottom first, I can avoid this. After I throw the bottom, I throw another piece of clay on top and stretch it out to the outermost edge of the bottom to form the wall. This keeps the piece from cracking. Second, if the walls of the bowl are not exactly the same thickness, the piece warps during the glaze firing.

I never make the same design twice. Each piece is unique and never duplicated. I have thrown over 2000 pieces of pottery since 2010, and no two are alike.

Stan O’Bannon’s Serenity (watercolor)

Like most of my work, this piece is out of my head. I see things in my mind that I just put down on paper. I don’t draw; I just paint it. My mood was a rural road, to draw someone down that road into serenity. I hope the title fits it. I have a lot of childhood memories of walking down a wooded road with a feeling of distance.

Like my mentor Andrew Wyeth, I’m drawn to browns and blues; they interest me more than brighter colors.

Al Morris’ Savage Mills #3 (watercolor)

Savage Mills is actually an old cotton mill on the Little Patuxent River in the township of Savage, Maryland. The mill has been converted into an art center. The picture is of the old power plant on the river that has suffered the ravages of time and weather. It was inspired by the chaotic wildness of the scene.

This was my third painting of the Mills. My style has grown looser as I have developed as an artist. Last year I took a class from local artist Holly Hansen; she really forced me to paint fast and loose and I felt that this came through in this rendering of the picture.

Masking of light areas and layering of different colors and washes helped me create what I feel is the best rendering I have created.

It was an honor to receive the Ruth Hopkins Award. Ruth always encouraged me in my work, and her presence will be missed.

Evelyn Beck’s The Bridge (fiber)

This fiber piece is based on a photo I took of the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston. I endlessly manipulated the photo in Photoshop (this process seems to take longer and longer as I keep piling on filters), then printed out a pattern I could use to cut out pieces of fabric, fuse them onto a background, and sew them down. I chose fabric in bright colors, as I almost always do, for they make me feel happy.

This is the first abstract piece I’ve ever been truly satisfied with. Somehow the colors and the shapes came together for a pleasing composition that just barely suggests the original shot.

JoAnne Anderson’s Ain't Gonna Do It (graphic HB #2)

I was working with a model who took a standing pose with her arms crossed and a defiant look on her face. That attitude was what I immediately wanted to capture. My challenge was to

capture it quickly before the look disappeared. First was a light overall sketch of the model, then darkening the shadows on her face and neck. Next was darkening her hair and shirt and blending the strokes smooth with my finger. The final step was correcting the leg length and adding some darker strokes for emphasis.

Julie Lamp’s Infinity (flat and round natural and dyed reed, woven sea grass, dyed wool fiber)

Recently I have been experimenting with woven sculptures using traditional basket weaving methods. Basket reed is produced from the core of a thorny palm vine found in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. It is boiled in kerosene and diesel fuel, cleaned, sanded, sized and coiled. I started with a "God's Eye" to join the initial reeds and then followed the natural curve of the reed to let the basket weave itself. It was a challenge to join the ends of the reed in both ends of the "God's Eye." It wasn't until the weaving was finished that I realized that I had woven a symbol for infinity!

Lori Solymosi’s Treasures (mixed media)

This is from a recent series created over the last year. The series is a result of contemplating, refocusing and evaluating my art and life, in light of our culture, materialism and today’s proliferation of art and artists.

In this series I focused on texture, striations and abstracted figures and creating a sense of unity. In Treasures I strove to create increased value range and a balance of representational and nonrepresentational images.

Every year I place an intention on my studio wall; currently the words are "Simplicity in Chaos," which I find paradoxical in light of today's epidemic. I have been studying images in tree bark and rock formations and creating a more simplified yet sophisticated color palette. The title and inspiration for this series comes from the verse in Matthew 6:19-20: "Do not lay up treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal..."

Brenda McLean’s From Here to There (pastels)

In this painting I actually started with a rough sketch of a farmhouse on black paper and then I started adding abstract grass and wild flower shapes in the foreground. The more I played with it, the more abstract it became. I normally paint landscapes. So this painting went from here to there!

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