Exhibitions

Laura Pollak, Gathering Energy

Southeastern Pastel Society's 21st International Juried Exhibition

Celebrating 34 Years 1987-2021

The exhibition was held on April 15 – June 7, 2021 at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in  Gainesville, GA

Our exhibition was kicked off with an opening reception on Thursday evening, April 15th. While our juror was unable to be physically present due to Covid concerns, Gary Baughman, Exhibition Chair, along with Cyndi Marble, SPS President, were able to share Juror Lyn Asselta’s comments on the award winning pastel work.

Congratulations to our 2021 award winning artists as well as to all of the artists who were juried in and those who submitted work to be considered.

$5,950 in prizes were awarded to 20 artists.

Exhibit

Juror's Comments

Lyn Asselta IAPS EP, PSA MP, 2021www.lynasselta.com

My sincere congratulation to each of the artists who submitted work to the SPS 2021 Juried International Exhibition. By entering an international show, you are taking the important step of putting your artwork in the broadest arena possible. This takes courage and the conviction to actively pursuing your artistic path.

For those whose work was selected for the exhibition, please know that the decisions a judge makes are rarely easy ones, especially when faced with a large group of paintings to choose from. I look for all the typical things that make up a good painting: effective use of composition, color, technical ability, mark making skills… but more importantly, I look for your unique voice as a painter. I look for the stories I think you’re trying to tell me because this is the way you ultimately connect with those who will be looking at your painting. I thank you for the privilege of making the selections for this show and I wish you all well on your art journey.

First Place Award, Junko Rothwell, The Director’s Chair

This painting brought to my attention immediately for it’s beautiful combination of looseness and structure. The confident loose marks combined with a purposeful composition speak to the ability of the artist to render believable form with a shorthand. A pensive mood is set with a rich analogous color pallet, and the use of soft lighting and strong shadow on this relaxed but alert figure. The drape of the hand and the loose drape of the fabric accentuate the pose. The beautifully lit shoulder and the light on the hair that edges the face draw the viewer in. The choice to paint from the back of the model begs us to wonder what she’s thinking based on her posture. Without any detail in the background she becomes an intriguing mystery, which becomes wonderfully calculated narrative.

Second Place Award, Alan Flattmann, Tujague’s Bar

The wine glass in the foreground drew me into this piece. It alludes to the viewer being part of the scene, as if I sat this glass down and took a step back from the bar to observe this interesting group of people who are standing close to each other but don’t seem to be interacting. The bartender works while the woman in the front checks her phone and the others behind her are somewhat obscure. So we don’t really know what they are doing. There are so many tactile surfaces here that have been rendered with exceptional care… the glossy sheen of the bar, the glass bottles, the women’s hair, the windowpanes. Each has a unique treatment, but none competing for attention. The composition circles us around from the wine glass, to the people at the bar, to the hanging plant on the wall, to the bartender and back, giving us the chance to feel as though we are actually in this place observing part of the scene.

Third Place Award, Dolly Alexander, Dawn’s Perfect Gift

What I love about this piece is the sense that the dawn itself is the star of this painting. It could have easily been about the water, or the clouds or the horses and their reflection, but Dolly has managed to do something important here. She’s managed to make the time of day the main event. One puts oneself into this scene looking at it from a distance enjoying the morning as it arrives. It pulls you into the story. Her somewhat unusual choice of a violet-yellow complimentary pallet gives it a quality that makes it a bit magical and takes it away from the typical. Dolly expertly invites us to share what she was feeling at this particular place and particular time.

Exceptional Merit Award, Deborah LaFogg-Docherty, Focused

This is a sensitively rendered portrait of a majestic animal. I was especially taken with the beautiful marks in this piece. The handling of the fur and the expressive quality of the face are exquisitely done. As in any portrait the background is important. This one gives just enough detail that doesn’t over power. The soft edges of the shapes in the background allow the carefully rendered fur to stand out without having to compete for attention.

Exceptional Merit Award, Betsy Kellum, Dried Yellow Rose

Simplicity and sophistication are emphasized by the placement of the objects in this composition. The subtle complementary pallet of blue-green and orange-red sings against the dark background. This painting is engaging and quietly dramatic with careful and deliberate handling of both the rose and the bottle it rests in.

Exceptional Merit Award, Janet Johnson, The Hearth

I chose this painting because it had such a complex beauty and the relationship of the positive and negative spaces. By choosing an almost monochromatic color pallet, the emphasis here is on pattern, form and texture in a challenging composition. But the pallet also hints at the utility and history of the subject matter. The overhead vantage point allows you to look into the vessels adding nice areas of darker value throughout the composition leading the eye in a circular way around this painting.

Bill Creevy Memorial Award, Orit Reuben, A Place of Prayer

Having been a friend of Bill’s, I tried to put myself in his place to choose the painting for this award. I’d like to think that he would have agreed that the perspective of looking down on this sunlit scene, the careful but not tight rendering of the buildings, the light, the color pallet, and the spiritual connotation of the story here would have been something he would have gravitated to and enjoyed immensely. It’s a privilege for me to choose an award in his honor.

Ron Pircio Award, Debra Kelly, Crossing the Causeway (Jekyll Island Museum)

This painting of an interior is unusual in its setting, a museum exhibit that uses a nice combination of realism, nostalgia, and color to draw attention to the main subject which is a gleaming red Studebaker set amongst what appears to be a travel billboard and some period clothing. It combines a careful use of the pastel medium with an interesting use of perspective to draw our attention to the car in this fun and inviting piece.

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