Fluvanna Art Association fall show featured “Best Work”

By Page H. Gifford

This year’s Fluvanna Art Association annual fall show was different than those in past years since the FAA membership agreed not to have The People’s Choice Awards Show.

“We’ll see how this is received and with member suggestions, we’ll make changes to next year’s show,” said President Linda Bethke. This was the first year the show was not judged or prizes awarded since the People’s Choice began in 2015. In the past, the public voted for its favorite artwork in each category. Artists with the most votes won. But the idea of the People’s Choice began to lose interest with members who believed that the show favored certain artists more than the work itself.

The FAA decided to return to the reception and exhibit in the fall but with a theme. This year’s theme was “Your Best Work.” This differs from the spring show, which is judged by a professional artist or gallery owner.

There were fewer entries in this show than in the past, but the work was varied and imaginative. Everyone who participated certainly showed not only their best work but their signature work and personal style. Artists like William Snow featured his signature mastery of watercolor and detail in his seascape of “Reflections Low Tide Wellfleet Harbor.” Linda Bethke, also known for her strong and colorful watercolors, showed intensity in “Playing Koi.” The movement of the bright reds and oranges of the koi, swimming through stunning blue water was an eye-catcher.

Elaine Bergman gets kudos for her thought-provoking piece “What’s for Dinner?” showing a disheveled figure rummaging for food in a dark alley only illuminated by a streetlamp. This shows Bergman’s willingness to explore societal subjects.

Rose Mayer focused on the contrast in her “Birch Melody.” The entire picture is composed of white birch trees broken up with bright spots of oranges, yellows, and turquoise. Janie Prete broke out with her joyous mixed media piece,  “Epiphany.” The picture featured a gleeful spontaneity and action in the abstract dancing figure set against a backdrop of varying patterns and pops of deep blue.

Nance Stamper’s vivid blue canvas with drips and drabs of oranges and yellow musical notes woven with lyrics jumped out at those entering the room. The piece took on a life of its own through the artist’s mood and inspiration.

“Music could have been our theme,” she said as she pointed to Page Gifford’s “Let the Music Play,” featuring a collage of musical instruments woven with music in zentangle patterns. Along with Prete’s dancer, there was an underlying theme.

Nancy Shaffer’s “Love in the Rain” was simple and romantic with two silhouetted lovers hidden under a large red umbrella in the rain under a streetlamp. Shaffer favors clean lines and bold colors in her work.

Like Shaffer, Judy Korhonen had clean lines in her well-executed still life featuring pears. Mary Volin’s pastel “Foliage San Carlos” demanded attention with large plant leaves filling the frame with swirls of purple, blue-green, green and blue.

For abstract, Maria Fiesta Carter’s “Blooming” exhibited her signature splashes of color. Similarly, Betty Scholl’s “Dusk and Shadows” reflects her impression of words and moods with blended colors and foggy elements of blue.

Landscapes are always popular and Linda Napier’s “Path in the Woods” showed a solid perspective. Windy Payne, known for her sunny and colorful landscapes, brought alive cool waters gushing over rocks in a stream in the middle of a lush green meadow. Windy’s use of light gives her landscapes and authentic feeling of nature. Kathy Scott, like Payne, conveyed peace in her soft pastel “Bay View.”

Breaking away from the traditional compositions, was Cindy Stenz with her colorful collage “Color Kingdom,” which showed vibrant colors and painstaking detail in her ink pattern.  

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