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Wentzell, Davis, and Moore Take Top Awards in AAG Juried Show

The 2021 Anderson Artists Guild Juried Show opened at the Anderson Arts Center with a reception on September 10 and will run through October 15. The juror was Bill Jameson. Running concurrently in the atrium is a solo show by member Jamie Hansen.

In the juried show, the $750 first place award went to Leslie Wentzell for A Slumber Descends (ceramic). The $500 second place award went to Melody M. Davis for NYPD 2020 (Covid Series) (acrylic). The $300 third place award went to Kathy Moore for Sow (acrylic diptych). Moore’s piece also garnered a $750 purchase award from Power Concepts Lighting.

Merit awards ranging from $50 to $150 went to Mishelle Barnett, Evelyn Beck, Carlene Shuler Brown, Marion Harvey Carroll, Diane DeMont, Myrl Garment, Ann Heard, Craig Johnson, Mary McAlister, Brenda McLean (two merit awards), Kathy Ogden, Hershel Pearson, Mac Read, Lori Solymosi, and Sue West.

Other artists in the show include Sandra Bates, Sara Bates, Anita Bowen, Matthew E. Brophy, Debbie Bzdyl, Joan Calhoun, Diana M. Carnes, Rebecca Lawson Carruth, Sue Cheney, Wendy Converse, George Crown, Jackeline Dennis, Carole M. Dennison, Michael England, Marion Fanning, Jane Friedman, Carolyn L. Gibson, Diana Gilham, Linda K. Gordon, Joseph Graziano, Jamie Hansen, Marion Hursey, Sharon Jacobs, Deane King, Julie Lamp, David Locke, Hamed Mahmoodi, Mary Cooper McDonough, Michaela McIntosh, Becky Miller, Rosemary Moore, Al Morris, Vicki Mountz, Wesa Neely, Stan O’Bannon, Lucille Pallante, Yvonne Park, Lauren Wright Pittman, Mary Anne Porter, Karen Powell, Lou Rainey, Polly Richardson, Gloria Root, Debbie Shaw, Diann Simms, Armi Tuorila, Beverly Walker, Marla Walker, Patricia Walker, Diana Walter, and David Wentzell.

Those who donated for awards include Jerry and Sue West, Barbara Ervin, Vicki Mountz, Woody and Sylvia Woodall, Anderson Arts Center, Sue Robinson-Cheney, Carolyn Gibson, Marion Hursey, Carole M. Dennison, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Friedman, Marion Carroll, Diann Simms, Michael England, and Mary McAlister, in addition to some anonymous donors.

Here are reflections on their pieces from the top three award winners:

Leslie Wentzell’s A Slumber Descends (ceramic)

“The inspiration for this piece came shortly after I moved to the Florida Panhandle. The landscape there is very wild and so different from that of the Midwest where I grew up. With the sight of vines growing up and covering trees, I imagined those vines growing over and covering a figure. Sometimes ideas have to percolate a while, but when I finally was compelled to make the sculpture, I decided on a bust. I’m intrigued by the human figure, so I didn’t want to completely cover the bust with foliage. Also, prior to this piece I had been leaving most of the terra-cotta clay body bare on my figures, but for this piece I wanted an aged surface for the figure, with glazed leaves, leaving just the vines a stained terra-cotta. Getting the surface I wanted for the figure was the challenge for me, in addition to the challenge of building the bust itself. I built this piece with coils of clay, working from the bottom up. She is completely hollow. As with most of my sculptures, I begin with the kernel of an idea, letting what the piece has to say come to me as I work. In this case, what is not there may have as much to say to the viewer as what is. I welcome hearing people’s interpretations of my work.”

Melody M. Davis’ NYPD 2020 (Covid Series) (acrylic)

“I started painting during the pandemic when we closed here for a year. I have eight pieces in this series based on selfies taken from Instagram. This was the fastest one. The police department was getting hammered and didn’t realize the severity of the disease until it was too late. This man looked scared and angry even with his mask on. My struggle was what to focus on and what to leave alone. I didn’t want the letters to be prominent. I wanted the focus to be mainly on his eyes.”

Kathy Moore’s Sow (acrylic diptych)

“During my summer vacation, I wanted to focus on painting. I worked a lot on techniques to create different textures and experimented with layering. I have always been drawn to rich textured paintings that make me want to touch them. My mantra—“It’s just acrylic, I can always paint over it”—stayed consistent throughout the summer. This approach led to such valuable learning experiences. For the most part, the rewards in the end outweighed the risks. Sow is a prime example of this practice. I painted over all or parts of the painting at least four times. In the end, I loved seeing remnants of previous layers.”


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