Arts Clayton announces contest winners

JONESBORO — Tony Monry was flabbergasted he won “honorable mention” at the Arts Clayton Juried Art Competition on Friday night.

“I have been entering this contest on and off for about seven years and I have never won anything,” Monry said.

Monry took the award for his piece titled “Sightseeing.” He said he was inspired by a trip he took and loves painting pictures of classic cars he refurbishes at his Atlanta home.

The winners were announced on Friday during the gallery opening, which showcased 30 pieces of artwork, from artists surrounding the Southern Crescent and Metro Atlanta.

“All the art was just so amazing,” said Linda Summerlin, Arts Clayton Executive Director.

Winners for this year’s show were:

Best of Show: “Sayer of Richett Fables,” by Gingerlou Fulton; first place: “Garden Meadow,” by Kay Ridge; second place: “Shooting Star,” by Doug McCulloch; third place: “Tethered,” by Pat DeVane Burns; two honorable mentions: “Cefalu Streets,” by Lori Schinelli and “Sightseeing,” by Monry and the Juror’s Award: “Drought” by Mike Sawecki.

Jessie Mark Gadsden, who has been painting for 10 years, did not win for two pieces he entered, but was impressed with Monry’s work.

“His art is so colorful and his use of images is impressive,” Gadsden said. “Looking at a lot of the art in the room there is so much that I can learn from.”

Gadsden said he plans to continue to evolve as an artist and has plans on entering next year’s contest.“I try to always reflect my pieces on the subject matters and political issues,” he said. “Who knows? Maybe my piece will win next year.”

Joseph Derepentigny said he was taken back by Sawecki’s piece, “Drought.”

“It put me in the mind of a comical horror story,” Derepentigny said. “It’s extraordinary. I like seeing ordinary people be put in extraordinary situations.”

Morrow Mayor Joseph “J.B.” Burke, who showed his support at Friday’s gallery, said he was drawn to a piece called “Executioner Squid,” also by Sawecki.

“It’s absolutely fabulous!” Burke said. “I love the use of colors in this piece. My home is monochromatic, but throughout I have a splash of color in each room and this piece would fit right in with my collection.”

First timer Kelly Crosby shared the same sentiment as Gadsden.

“I loved a lot of the art in the show,” Crosby said. “There’s a lot of inspiration in the room that we can learn from and I look forward to next year.”

“None of us likes the same thing,” Summerlin said to guests before announcing the winners. “But the truth is everyone in the room is talented, and all the works look amazing. It was very hard to make a decision.”

Fulton, whose work won “Best of Show,” received $1,000, and the piece will go into the gallery’s permanent collection. Fulton also will get a feature exhibit as a reward for producing the top item in the contest.