By Paula Fowler
Iconic Houston Buildings of Houston are highlighted in this month’s show, and it has been such a pleasure to see which ones out of the vast number of possibilities that our entrants chose to paint. Some had a very personal connection to their subject. Others were attracted to itshistorical significance or its architecture. The story behind each painting really adds to its overall appreciation of each one. Another joy of this show is seeing how each artist chose to depict an architectural subject. Different perspectives and styles demonstrate the range interpretations that come from your creative minds. Please take time to read the Winner’s Words section of our blog to see entertaining stories behind our winners.
We owe a huge thanks to our special judge for this show, Katherine Veneman, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area and holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, and M.F.A. in painting from American University in Washington, D.C. She is currently a curator of education at Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, where she oversees the museum’s nationally recognized education program, which includes a wide range of public and educational programs as well as guided tours for adults, university students, and youth. Previously, Katherine, who is a practicing painter, maintained a studio in Providence, Rhode Island, and was the Director of Hera Educational Foundation Gallery, a non-profit artist space in Wakefield, Rhode Island. She has exhibited her work on the East Coast and in Houston. And as an added bonus, her mother, Joyce Veneman, who moved to Houston a few years ago, is a participating member of WAS-H!
Katherine gave us a very thorough and educated evaluation of her choices as winners. The following comments are in her words:
First Place - Harris County Courthouse by Irene Sheytman.
“The drawing shows a shift in perspective to reveal the building from an aerial view, with the strong drawing emphasized by the dramatic, simplified color scheme of purples and warm browns. Seemingly defying gravity, the building seems to push towards the skyline, its upward motion anchored by the cupule rather than the sketched foundation. “
Second Place - The Heights Iconic Houses by Larry Spitzberg
“Expressive brushworks both reveal and conceal the everyday scene of historic Heights houses, implying a lively blur between the rapidly growing vegetation and the dynamic forms of the buildings. Splashes of color and texture capture a glimpse of the and the shifting landscape. If the viewer blinks, will the scene change? “
Third Place - Tallest Building West of Mississippi, 1963 (Humble Building) by Diane Zimmerman
“A multi-colored skyscraper meets soft clouds in a vibrant blue sky. The shifting, colors appear to weave through the delicate, detailed architectural structure, forming a pattern that seems independent of its delicately rendered architecturalform. In contrast, the top of an ordinary light fixture appears at the bottom of the page, grounding the viewer’s relationship to the building. “
Clark’s and Deans by Charles Brewer
“Drawn from the perspective of a passerby, a primary-colored façade of personable buildings and sky invite the viewer in. A bike, propped up with a kickstand, sits poised towards the scene, waiting for its rider. “
City Hall by Mansueto Fabugais
“In the composition, City Hall is in the background, with the viewer's eye entering the painting’s foreground, a street corner. Objects on the street—a construction cone, a crosswalk—form abstract patterns that move the eye back. A tree sits in front of the building in the middle ground, partially obscuring the building itself and giving the sense of an ordinary day. “
Greenway Place Sunset by Nan Wright
“Subtle textures and a pattern of shimmering values and colors give this landscape a sense of both permanence and transience. On the cusp of the gloaming, the painting captures a mirage-like reflection of the skyline etched on its façade, while the building itself is firmly nestled in its surroundings. “
This show would not have been possible without the help of our great volunteer! Special thanks to Patty Armstrong, Leisa Patin, Marcia Wasson, Cissy Geigerman, and Mansueto Fabugais.
It’s with mixed feelings that I submit this report, because at the end of May, my Co-Director, Nancy McMillian, and I will complete three years of service and will turn our duties over to new directors. It’s been a really great experience. Our love of WAS-H and our appreciation of the talents and skills of its membership had grown exponentially. We thank all of you that have helped us out…the volunteers, past gallery directors who had gave us so much advice, and the members who had ideas and improvements to share. We’ll miss it all!
Our new Gallery Co-Directors are Cissy Geigerman and Katie Steck. We look forward to the energy and new ideas that they will bring to the job!