YADKINVILLE — The Yadkin Arts Council fourth annual Juried Art Show opened on July 11 with more than 70 pieces of art in a variety of mediums such as oil, pastel, water color, mixed media, acrylic, wood, glass and steel.
“The annual juried art show at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center has produced some of the best 2D and 3D artwork ever displayed at the Welborn Gallery,” said Arts Council President John Willingham. “The works represent artists from all across North Carolina and remains in the gallery through August.”
This year’s theme was “Eye of the Artist: Happiness Is…” and, according to a press release from the Arts Council, the show drew interest from more than 100 North Carolina artists. This year’s exhibit was judged by Carolyn Blaylock, who presented awards totaling $3,000 at the opening receptions and awards ceremony.
Cheryl Powell of Kernersville claimed the top prize of $1,500 for her oil on canvass painting titled “Woman In Chair.”
“I was very honored and excited to win first place in the ‘Eye of the Artist: Happiness is…’ exhibit,” Powell said. “I had such a good time painting the scene of this lady, comfortable and content sitting in her chair with her umbrella for shade and a drink in her hand. I love to share this kind of moment with others through my paintings.”
Second place and the people’s choice award went to Brian Carney of Matthews for a ballpoint pen drawing called “I See You.” Carney praised the hard work of the event organizers at the Arts Council for hosting this annual showcase.
“I have no doubt that hosting a regional art competition is quite an undertaking,” Carney said. “Thanks to all the good folks at the Yadkin Arts Council and the Yadkinville Cultural Art Center for making it all possible. I am very honored to receive the runner up award in the ‘Eye of the Artist: Happiness is…’ show. I knew this would be a great opportunity to share my art. Most importantly I want to thank God for giving me this talent, and my wife, kids and everyone else who supports my arts. Also, I would like to extend a personal thanks to all those who voted for my drawing ‘I See You’ in the People’s Choice Award. It’s quite an honor for artists to be recognized by their peers.”
Valerie Schnaufer of Spruce Pine took third place with her clay piece “Dwelling with River Rocks.”
Schnaufer said that she too was grateful to local arts groups like the Yadkin Arts Council for offering “so much possibility for the emerging as well as seasoned artists through the state.”
“I’d like to express my gratitude as an artist in North Carolina for the opportunities that are available,” she said. “In this era of technology, it is vital that people are exposed and can experience great art. Because my clay work incorporates elements of nature, I feel it draws the viewer in close, hopefully connecting he or she with the natural world. I’d like to thank the Yadkin Arts Council for my recent award and commend them on their beautiful facility.”
Blaylock also choice five honorable mentions from the show — Angela Tommaso Riccobene of Cary, for her oil on canvas piece “Hydrangea Delight”; Lynnette Bettini of Jamestown, for her pastel piece “Hawaiian Treasure”; Ray LaMantia of Siler City, for his oil on canvas piece “Watchdog”; David Taylor of Leicester, for his welded steel piece “Joy Ride” and Jody Pounds of Yadkinville, for her stained glass mosaic “Heat.”
The Eye of the Artist exhibit will be on display in the Welborn Gallery until Aug. 29. The gallery is free to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is located at 226 E. Main St. in Yadkinville.
For more information about the Yadkin Arts Council or the juried show, visit www.yadkinarts.org.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.