Photo by Heather Middleton
By Joel Hall
Abstract landscapes, classic movie stars, and the homeless were just some of the subjects featured during Arts Clayton's ninth annual Juried Art Show and Competition. The display of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art work, which premiered on Thursday, showcases the talents of dozens of artists from all corners of the metro region.
According to Arts Clayton Gallery Manager Karen Powers, a jury panel led by acclaimed Georgia painter Charles Young Walls sifted through more than 125 separate entries to select the 67 works featured in the show. Winning entries this year included pieces in watercolor, wooden sculpture, mixed media, and monoprint.
"The is our biggest show of the year in terms of prize money and the number of people who participated," Powers said. "Because the show is becoming more of a regional show, we are drawing in work from all over the region. There are a lot of people whose work has not been shown in our gallery before or who are new to Arts Clayton. That is what is making the show more exciting. This is kind of a once-a-year opportunity to see their work."
Winners of this year's competition were selected by former Georgia Watercolor Society President Kathy Rennell Forbes, University of West Georgia Art Department Professor and Chairman Emeritus Bruce Bobick, and High Museum of Art exhibitions expert, Nicole Smith. The winners of the ninth annual Juried Art Show and Competition were honored on Thursday night. For their financial contributions to Arts Clayton, the cities of Morrow, Lake City and Forest Park were also honored.
Best in Show went to Teresa Thurston of
Griffin, for her watercolor painting "Enoch." First place was awarded to Steve Pritchard of Winston, for his wood piece entitled "Maple and Cherry." Second-place honors went to Kathy Yancey of Atlanta, for her mixed-media work entitled "Best of Show." The third-place winner was Jonathan Fisher of Decatur, for his monoprint piece, "Untitled 2." The Juror's Award went to Rosalind Webb of Stockbridge, for her oil painting entitled "Stratum."
By way of popular vote from visitors to Thursday night's opening reception, Terry McGrady of Riverdale won the Patron's Award for her painting entitled "Praise Dancer."
Thurston, whose piece will be purchased by Arts Clayton to become a part of its permanent collection, scoured the Ansley Park neighborhood of Atlanta to find and paint, "Enoch," a well-known, highly religious homeless man living in the area.
"You never know when you come across an angel," said Thurston, a private art instructor. "All the while [I was painting] he was quoting scripture to me. I want there to be some kind of emotional connection to my work [between the piece and the viewer]. I hope that they walk away with an experience."
McGrady, a business manager for a physical therapy center, has painted since she was a child but had never entered a painting in a competition prior to this year's Juried Art Competition. She said the competition gave her a new appreciation of her own talents.
"This was my first competition," McGrady said. "I kind of always kept it [her talents] to myself. I wish I had known about this sooner. It has been a great experience. I was a little nervous about it ... but you can learn from other folks."
Pieces from the ninth annual Juried Art Show and Competition will be on display at Arts Clayton until Feb. 26. For more information, call (770) 473-5410 or visit www.artsclayton.org/gallery.