Fluvanna Art Association spring art show is a hit

By Page H. Gifford

The Fluvanna Art Association had its first spring art show in two years since the pandemic hit, shutting down art venues and shows. It was a good turnout for the April 23 show held at the library and boasting four judged categories this year.

The show was judged by professional artist and teacher Leah Olivier. As Olivier perused the work, she had many thoughts and insights to help some of the artists strengthen their work. As usual with an open-entry show, it was a wide range of subjects, media, and levels. This year, there were no entries for novice, but the majority were in intermediate and advanced, while masters had a strong showing.

In the 3-D category, newcomer Jim Wilkin won first for his Basket #2.

“Beautiful design, solid balance,” said Olivier. She also commented on the second-place winner, Tom Ellis for Wind, citing the movement in the tree branches and leaves of his wood carving in creating the wind and his skillfully carved bird bracing against it. “The element of leaves adds movement and drama.”

In the intermediate category, first went to Brenda Cohen for Tangerine, a peeled tangerine in the Renaissance style.

“Overall a very professional look. Loved the framing which enhanced the whole thing. The subject was very well observed. Great framing. Great technique,” she said.

Second and third went to Janet Rugari for her oil painting Feed Me, featuring a cat pleading with the viewer to fill an empty blue bowl, and Red Fox. Olivier said the portrait of the cat was unique and the fox had attitude.

Anita Paul got an honorable mention for her Memories of Fall, featuring bright red apples falling out of a basket in colored pencil. Cindy Stenz also took honorable mention for her Twins in Purple abstract in ink.

“It has a Zen art feel,” commented Olivier.

In the advanced category, Kathy Scott won first place for her oil painting Pleasant Grove Prairie which Olivier said “was beautifully painted.” Olivier raved about Marcie Stahl’s Old Church collage. This is Stahl’s second show with FAA. She has her own style and manipulates collage skillfully, rendering one-of-a-kind pieces.

Taking third was JoAnne Braniff with her pink tulips in watercolor Pretty in Pink. Braniff always has a subtle, quiet feel to her paintings, pacifying the viewer.

Autumn Wall received an honorable mention for her pen and ink of her horse Reverie. Wall delicately draws the horse with grace and strength.

Debbie Burke took first in masters for her oil painting Still Life With Apples.

“Ala prima,” said Olivier. “Loved everything about it, the brush strokes, the soft and hard edges.”

Newcomer Diane Wilkin took second for her pastel The View Through.

“Everything flows the composition, it is harmonious.” Third also went to another newcomer, Eric Allen for his landscape in oil Summer at Old Rag. Olivier called it hyper-real, beyond photographic.

Honorable mentions went to Susan Edginton for her watercolor of Brady, in multicolored splendor prompting Olivier to say she liked the way Edginton handled her character. Linda Bethke also got an honorable mention for the body of her work, Morning Chased the Mist Away and White Ladies in Purple.  

“The sheer power of them both. Excellent color and technique,” she said.

Finally, Lorraine Momper won best in show for her acrylic Old Bones. Olivier was fascinated by the subject of an up-close and personal look at an old, gnarled tree that pops out at the viewer.

“I want to know that tree,” she added.

The show will be up until May 20 at the Fluvanna County Public Library.

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