by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director
Our gallery may be closed, but behind the scenes, our volunteers have been working nonstop to keep WAS-H the same warm and exciting place we all know and love. The serendipitous outcome of our challenging time is the opening of our very first online show, "Views Through the Windows of Our Isolation". Special thanks during this development process must go to our President, Beth Graham, our Technology Director, Karen Stopniki, the WAS-H Administrative Assistant, Martin Butler and faithful volunteers, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Geigermann and Nancy McMillan. We hope that you enjoy the ease with which you can now share your work with your family, friends and potential buyers. This is a big step, and we were so excited to see the images of the wonderful paintings as they came in, all 147 of them. Everyone was so patient when we had to tweak the entry process. We'll continue to work to make this easier each time.
Our judge, Cookie Wells has a BS in Commercial Art from Lamar University and spent 30 years in the commercial graphic world before turning to watercolor. She’s a member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society and of Women in Visual and Literary Arts. Her work can be seen at Archway Gallery. Cookie accepted the challenge of doing her first online judging and was amazed at the quality of the work. She said that she looked at the images mostly through the eyes of this isolation and all that brings into our experience. She then stepped away and visualized what stood out in her mind. From that process, she chose the following:
For the First Place, she chose Helen Beacham's "Attitude". She shared that it was an "exceptional painting...so strong. The modern, loose, wet background against the technically superbly painted child. The attitude of the child says it all..."
Second Place went to Chaitanya Alli for "Relaxing afternoon". Cookie said it was a great representation of our isolation and that "the colors are remarkable." She loved " the dark/light contrasts. A really beautiful painting".
Honored with Third Place was Linda McDonald's "My Front Door in Lockdown". Cookie loved "the simple but strong statement this painting makes. Wonderful wet background, nicely painted packages. Great contrast." She felt it was a statement of our world today.
Honorable Mentions were awarded to:
Terri Colangelo - "Rush Hour - March 2020"
Diane Cox - "Waiting to Go Out Again"
Cheryl Evans - "Shelter in Place - Painting in the Time of Pandemic Series"
Barbara Hall - "Self Portrait"
Laurie Hammons - "Looking Out My Bedroom Window"
Hiep Nguyen - "Spring is Still Out There"
Zahid Shaikh - "Lockdown Blues"
See all the entries here.