Hunt, Wentzell, Crown Take Top Awards in 2022 AAG Membership Show

The 2022 Anderson Artists Guild Membership Show opened at the Anderson Arts Center with a reception on July 14 and runs through August 19. The juror was Lucy Clark.


The show includes 128 pieces by 66 members.


The $750 First Place Award went to Thomas Hunt for A Spritely Appearance (oil). The $500 Second Place Award went to Leslie Wentzell for Where Has the Morning Gone? (ceramic). The $300 Third Place Award went to George Crown for Mary’s Iris (watercolor).


Sixteen members won Merit Awards. The $125 Merit Award went to Kathy Moore for Dare to Be You (block printing). $100 Merit Awards went to Elaine Bailey for Sing It! (felting), Evelyn Beck for Triathlon (fiber), Rebecca Lawson Carruth for Gypsy Garden (acrylic), Diane DeMont for Love “Lookin for Gold” (photography), Jane Friedman for Desert Aloe (pastel), Thomas Hunt for Underleaf (oil), Chet Lawson for Natalie (watercolor), Brenda McLean for Lovely Lavender (pastel), Rosemary Moore for Spring Bouquet (collage), Al Morris for Rusty (watercolor), Stan O’Bannon for Goldenrod (watercolor), Kathy Ogden for Almost Paradise (watercolor), Nduka Freeborn Onyia for Dream (copper), Ray Richards for It’s Time (photography), and Leslie Wentzell for Once More into Sunny Fields Let Me Stray (ceramic).


Other members in the show include Shea Abramo, Edward Acker, Teresa Anderson, Nancy Anna, Peggy Arnett, Mishelle Barnett, Sandra Bates, Sara Bates, Anita Bowen, Marion Harvey Carroll, Sue Cheney, Barbara Crown, Marion Fanning, Sherron Fergason, Myrl Garment, Carolyn Gibson, Diana Gilham, Linda Gordon, Andrea Harper, Kathe Harris, Pamela Hunt, Sharon Jacobs, Craig Johnson, Ron Kennedy, Deane King, Julie Lamp, Hamed Mahmoodi, Mary McAlister, Terri McCord, Beckey Miller, Wesa Neely, Donna O’Hara, Kate Salley Palmer, Yvonne Park, Hershal Pearson, Karen Powell, Polly Richardson, Gloria Root, Debbie Shaw, Diann Simms, Lori Solymosi, Armi Tuorila, Patricia Walker, Marla Walker, Diana Walter, David Wentzell, Sue West, Akasha Wood, and Dania Zahlouk.


Donations for merit awards came from Vicki Mountz, Nancy Speer, Robert and Jane Friedman, Polly Richardson, Kathe Harris, Chet Lawson, Phillip and Sue Cheney, Jerry and Sue West, Diann Simms, Carolyn Gibson, Barbara Ervin, The Anderson Arts Center, and First Citizens Bank, as well as additional individual donations which were combined as Friends of the Guild.


Here are reflections about their pieces from the top three winners:



Thomas Hunt’s A Spritely Appearance


“My inspiration came from an old and large ivy-covered tree stump in our backyard. One morning, while shooting a few pictures of this interesting object, the whole idea of a visiting fairy amidst all that ivy just popped into my head. I photographed my granddaughter, Shannen, for the fairy figure, then drawings from the photos were made and arranged into a pleasing composition. I then transferred a master drawing of the composition onto the black gessoed canvas and, working dark to light in a slow gradual process, I applied my water mixable oil paints. The biggest challenge was the Fairy Sprite herself and the part I enjoyed the most. Working to get the figure and her translucent dress just right was tricky, particularly in that small scale.”



Leslie Wentzell’s Where Has the Morning Gone?


“This piece is a departure for me in several ways. First, I undertook to build it in a method I’d never used before, building a solid form with clay which was hollowed out after completion. I have always built hollow forms in the past but wanted to give this method of working a try because of the freedom it allows while building. Second, I have been experimenting lately with a looser surface treatment, including my clay handling, use of white slip over a darker clay body, and use of more color loosely applied. Third and most importantly, with this piece I began with a concept fully formed in my head—a departure for me, as I usually work first from the form with the piece’s meaning gradually becoming clear. (I should add that the second piece of mine in this show was built subsequent to this one, taking the concept in a slightly different direction.)


I was inspired by the question which became its title, “Where has the morning gone?” Having reached ‘a certain age,’ I find myself surprised and at times unable to believe it. So the piece is, to me, a reflection on time’s passing. Once I had the concept, I considered how to best communicate it. Each element I placed in the piece has a significance, but I hesitate to dwell too specifically because I want each viewer to formulate their own takeaway from the piece, and in fact, I welcome and would love to hear other interpretations.”



George Crown’s Mary’s Iris


“As artists we find beauty in many places. The inspiration for this painting came from our friend Mary McAlister's garden. The challenge for me was how to capture this beautiful iris in ‘wet into wet’ watercolor. This is not just a flower painting; it is a study in composition and technique.”

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