35 AAG Members in Anderson Juried Show

The 2022 Juried Show at the Anderson Arts Center opened on April 8 and will run through May 20. The juror was Kirah Van Sickle.


Thirty-five Anderson Artists Guild members had works selected for the show: Shea Money Abramo, JoAnne Anderson, Sandra Bates, Evelyn Beck, Larry Bennett, Matthew Brophy, Debbie Bzdyl, Wendy Converse, George Crown, Diane DeMont, Michael England, Barbara Ervin, Carolyn Gibson, Jamie Hansen, Pamela Hunt, Julie Lamp, Diane B. Lee, David Locke, Hamed Mahmoodi, Ravinder Malik, Margaret Mattox, Mary Cooper McDonough, Brenda McLean, Kathy Moore, Al Morris, Wesa Neely, Kathy Ogden, Donna O’Hara, Donna Persinger, Karen Powell, Lori Solymosi, Diana Walter, Leslie Wentzell, David Wentzell, and Barbara Brown Whitney.


Eight members won awards. JoAnne Anderson won a $1,000 Purchase Award. Al Morris won a $500 Purchase Award. Michael England won a $250 Watercolor Merit Award. Barbara Brown Whitney won a $250 Photography Merit Award. Donna Persinger won a $200 Merit Award. And $100 Merit Awards went to Barbara Ervin, Larry Bennett, and Shea Abramo.


Here are reflections from the award winners:



JoAnne Anderson’s Blacksmith at Work


“The subject for this painting was from a photograph. I wanted to capture the intensity of his work and the amount of heat in the room. The fire in the hearth had to be “white hot” – hot enough to soften the piece of iron that was to be molded on the forge. The iron must be held over the fire until it also becomes “white hot.” The blacksmith begins shaping it, plunges it in a barrel of water to set the shape he has begun. This process continues until the desired shape is formed. “I used Strathmore 400 ply Bristol board as the surface. It was toned with a mid-tone mixture of white w/c gouache, yellow ochre, raw sienna and naples yellow. After drawing the image, I began painting some darker areas with watercolor, next lifting out lighter areas with stiff brushes, paper towels, soft rags, etc. These steps were repeated and details put in until the painting started forming and finally said “stop”— the hardest thing to do!”




Al Morris’ ’46 Flatbed Chevy


“I found a ’46 Flatbed Chevy truck parked in a field behind a local restaurant. It was old and rusty, which made it a perfect choice for a watercolor painting. I took several pictures in order to find the perfect view. The chrome grille was in amazing condition and simply begged to be painted. Anytime you paint a faded and rusty vehicle, it is a challenge to make it look realistic.”




Michael England’s Royster’s Planter


“I saw this setting a couple of years ago in Royston, Georgia, not far from where I live. What caught my eye was the slope of the tree into the shape of the truck and the pop of orange on the truck cab. At the same time, my eyes followed the stream of lavender and green of the clover, beneath and under the truck shape, and the green of the vine filling the truck bed. The contrast and harmony of colors, the three horizontal lines of color, fading blue, brown/orange and the animated movement of the lavender and green of the clover and vine filling the bed of the truck all came together in a quick left to right movement. I liked what I saw and decided to paint the scene just as it was.


“The title of this watercolor comes from the scene of the truck, having sat there long enough to almost be completely overtaken by a type of running vine filling the truck bed and spilling onto the truck cab. First glance made me think of a large decorative planter.”




Barbara Brown Whitney’s Winter’s Veil II


“This is a high key, black and white photograph of two rows of Icelandic horses in near “white out” conditions. I was so moved by the stamina of these horses. I asked myself if I wanted to stop the snow motion or let the snow motion blur in the scene. I decided to show the conditions by letting the snow blur just a little bit. I knew I would need to over-expose to render the snow white and not gray. I chose 1/250th second shutter speed so the snow would blur but not blur too much. I chose F 11 aperture for a fair amount of depth of field. As it turned out, I could have used a faster shutter speed because the wind was blowing so very fast during this whiteout condition; the shutter speed I chose almost blurred too much but then perhaps that is part of what makes this “winter weather” so interesting. There is a lot of “negative” space in the image and I believe that the negative space is a strong part of the image.


“These horses represented a sense of peace even in the midst of this cold winter storm. I think the horses displayed steadfastness, calmness, stamina, and bravery. I felt these horses were standing in the presence of their own peace. The horses look like they will persevere!”




Donna Persinger’s Rising Up


“This is an encaustic piece with numerous layers incorporating rust, oil sticks, and pastels as well as shellac burns to create depth and texture. The bubbles are incised and enhanced with oil sticks. This piece was gradually created over a two-year period as I experimented with various techniques. It is mounted on a board with a Sophisticated Finishes metal paint and activator to create the patina. The main challenge for me was determining the final mounting as a frame seemed to cut the flow of the piece. I titled it Rising Up as I saw it as the effort to break through to a new level, leaving behind the rust shadows of the past, knowing still they lie beneath the surface of all we are.”




Barbara Ervin’s Storm Rise II


“This is a 12x32-inch image made by the monotype process with color pencil originally created in 2018 but reworked this past summer. The monotype process is similar to painting on plexiglass with a roller; then the image is transferred to paper using a large press. I use baby powder sprinkled and brushed on the inked plexiglass to block the ink from the paper to give the cloud effect. I usually run the image through the press with different parts of the image inked and transferred multiple times, overlapping the design and colors. I will take areas out with an eraser or use color pencil to bring out colors here and there.


“This past summer I decided to rework it. I thought that it had been at the Belton Center for the Arts for too long in the gift shop. I took a lot of time to try to figure out what I could do to revive it. I had given up on this long original piece and thought I would to tear it into smaller sections. After awhile I decided that it wasn't as bad as I thought and would try to work with the full piece a little more. Glad I did! I was thrilled to get an award for it. I guess that was to teach me that you shouldn't give up on some pieces! They will turn out the way they want to be when they are ready! (Not when I am!) Don't give up!”




Larry Bennett’s Hearts


“This is a photo of Fragile Bleeding Hearts hanging from a branch. For the studio set up, a grocery bag was used as the background.”




Shea Abramo’s Covered


“This is an acrylic on a vintage canvas I purchased with the frame about 10 years ago in a thrift store. It had a cube, cylinder and sphere painted in the center and looked like someone’s practice fallen short of completion. Its unique size and accompanied frame had me. My first attempt at covering the existing work was the beginning to a deep sea adventure. Ten years ago my style was very abstract, bright, and whimsical. I fancied marine life and the movement it gave. Needless to say, that deep sea cover-up of cobalts, and ultramarine also became a show of practice and fell very short of completion. But I could not let the canvas go. I traveled, and I moved, a lot. But I always had a donor for a dusty corner or closet to keep it.


“Only at the fall of last year did I challenge myself to not only cover this piece but cover it with the absolute vulnerability of a collection I just had to paint. Coming out of Covid there has been so many mixed emotions, feelings, inspirations, or some lack thereof. I decided to reach out to those that stirred up my creativity!! These strangers I follow. I had to paint them! Covered is based off the photo from Rena, a photographer from Martinsburg, WV. She had me at every shot! Her work completely inspired me as I did 4 paintings from her work. With her permission we created this inspirational soup filled with ingredients of her work and mine only to feed us motivation to do more!! Amazing what the power of collaboration can do and what two different mediums can bring to the viewer.


“The layers of Covered almost mimicked my actual journey in painting. Covering the bright blue with this palette of dim. Covering the beginner flat abstract era with learned techniques and tonal depths. Again, covering this canvas in all the vulnerability of ‘I don’t knows, I’ve never done something like this before, can I do this, will people see this? Like this? Am I crazy?’ And as lost as I would get in those thoughts or in the folds and direction of woven patterns, I just kept going. I knew that if I could get to the finish, all that attention will speak for itself. People will see it! I did a lot of staring, but I kept going and I kept covering until I knew exactly what that couch felt like. Until I knew the viewer could feel that couch. My heart was covered in contempt. The leap was worth it. Always paint what haunts you. And never underestimate the eye of the beholder.”

A list of all winners is at https://andersonarts.org/exhibitions/annual-juried-show/.

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