by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director
American painter and sculptor, Dorothea Tanning, said, “Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity.” I hope that you can share with me the thought that WAS-H is that raft that we have climbed onto and that it is carrying us through the white waters of 2020. From this communal, but safely-distanced spot, we are able to get inspiration from classes and by viewing the works of our fellow artists. This helps keep us sane. Our September Online Show brought us 58 amazing works of art and 75 of our members joined our Zoom reception and announcement of winners. From our perch on this metaphorical raft, we’re treated to winning images of the garden’s bounty and inviting but mysterious hallways. We see mind-bending abstracts and a bird’s-eye view of a nature trail. And, fittingly, as we pass Labor Day, we join the hot and pulsating space of men at work.
Our judge for this show, Ellen Phillips, took on the difficult job of choosing the winners. Ellen was born in Houston, TX and is the Ninth Grade Visual Art Coordinator and teacher at HSPVA. She has a BA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her current work explores the concept of multiples and shifting perspectives through works on paper, sculpture, photography and text. Ellen has shown her work in Texas, Maryland, Missouri and California. As many of you know, WAS-H has awarded scholarships to students at HSPVA since 2008. We were so pleased to find out that Ellen was the recipient of one of those scholarships!
Please enjoy Ellen’s perceptive words about her chosen winners:
First Place - Chaitanya Alli - Fresh from the Garden
“Simple ingredients: four tomatoes, a colander, and a blue tile countertop reflect the beauty of everyday life. The subtle nuances of how these objects reflect and rest on each other become moments of tenderness. Bright red-oranges and blues give weight to a feeling of freshness. The artist is playful in the way these components exist together. An uncomplicated moment portrayed with wonderfully complex interactions of light, shadow, pattern, repetition, and mark-making - so delicate.”
Second Place - Peggy Engells - Sunlight in the Shadows
“This piece strikes me as perhaps one of the most mysterious pieces I have ever seen. The space portrayed feels universal in some way - a space we have all encountered at some point in our life - without giving away too many details. There is a wonderful transparent quality within this work - is this moment of light and shadow arriving to us or disappearing from us? Thin and thick, dry and wet applications of paint work together and allude to the act of seeing itself.”
Third Place - Tatsiana Saleh - The City
“Fearless color! This piece has a beautiful cadence of vibrant, multiple layers similar to that of a jazz ensemble. Line, color, and application of medium become equally prevalent elements throughout the piece - at times creating depth and flattening into abstract compositions. Upon close inspection, dots are peppered throughout the strips of color, adding depth and complimenting linear qualities of this piece.”
Honorable Mention - Maria Rodriquez Alejo - Face Up
“This piece feels internal and external, up and down, above and below. Abstract forms create a dreamlike space that is ever expansive upon close view. Line, shape, color, balance are key components within this piece. Heat and light exudes through cracks in between the forms. Camouflaged moments of texture and pattern within planes are wonderful surprises.”
Honorable Mention - Barbra Munisteri - Fresh
“This piece is a wonderful snapshot of time. Slivers of light and cast shadows illuminate the grapefruit and juice. Beautiful mark making and abstract line add to the texture of the space. The placemat doubly serves as a framing device for tightly rendered portions of the piece. Outside of the placemat, the space unravels and loosens - still remaining fresh.”
Honorable Mention - Joanie Hughes - Pipe Benders
“This piece has beautiful texture all throughout! Linear mark-making and movement becomes an integral part of the work - causing a palpable weight to the piece that correlates to the title and subject. This moment captured feels simultaneously still and moving. The analogous color palette brings all elements in this work together - giving a sense of cool steel. The detailed marking of the pipe at the bottom is a wonderful touch.”
Honorable Mention - Reva Power - Walk with Me 1 Jogger
“The size and orientation of this piece reflect the subject matter very well. Textural mark making and splotches of color build nature as it would in real life. There is a loose quality throughout the whole work hinged on expressive lines and delicate touch. The artist successfully portrays the grandness, beauty, and calming effect of nature through the use of scale. What is most interesting is where we sit, in this piece, as a viewer - within the trees.”
This show would not be possible without the hard work of our Virtual Show Team. A very special thanks to Karen Stopnicki, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Geiggerman, Martin Butler and our president, Beth Graham.