People’s Choice Award art show returns

By Page H. Gifford

After a five-year absence, the Fluvanna Art Association is bringing back the People’s Choice Awards (PCA) art show. But this one will be different. With the help of the Fluvanna County Public Library and Director Cyndi Hoffman, voting by the public, once held to one day, will now continue through Dec. 1. 

Board member and treasurer Maria Carter suggested resurrecting the People’s Choice Award Show and Diane Wilkin, vice president of FAA, suggested giving the public more time to choose their favorite artists in the show.

The concerns of members in the past had been that the PCA Show was skewed to certain artists exhibiting in the show who would invite friends and family to stuff the ballot box at a one-day reception. This year, they agreed that if the public was encouraged to vote for a longer period, the outcome would level the playing field. Some members still expressed skepticism.

During the 47 years since its inception, FAA continues to provide artistic leadership and education to artists in a variety of mediums. The association has evolved by using online tools to promote the art organization with a website and Facebook. Workshops covered more than traditional mediums, such as oils and watercolors, and added acrylics, pastels, colored pencils, and mixed media. They added other mediums to the shows and exhibits, including 3-D, photography, digital art, stained glass, and mosaics as created by artists like Paul Stams, Maria Teresa Frescas, Duffy Dillinger, and Jeff Bland.

Bland blends mirrors with wood for a unique one-of-a-kind piece. Frescas features more of her stained glass. Stams returns after a four-year hiatus, showing some more colorfully rendered mixes of his photography and digital works to create seamlessly blended collages.

Other than the traditional art mediums and subjects, there was Dillinger’s bright bold paper mache sculptures, first introduced at the Carysbrook Show on Nov. 5. There is more abstract popping up in shows with alcohol inks including splashes of deep rich color by Linda Mullin and the subtle elegant flow of golds and scarlet reds by Pamela McKinnon. The vibrant colors of Sara Gondwe’s work in melted crayons always draws viewers.

On the more conventional side is classic Nance Stamper with her dog lying contentedly with a pair of empty shoes nearby and Jane Prete’s dramatic use of color in a lounging ethereal figure. Newcomer Patricia Bennett features a winter scene, reminiscent of Currier & Ives. Anita Paul is one of the few who uses colored pencils skillfully and it shows in the flow of a sunflower blowing in the breeze or the difficulty of drawing hands kneading bread. Susan Edginton, who also works with colored pencils; created a piece featuring roosters with attitude infused with dazzling pops of red.

There are many familiar artists trying something new. There are newcomers like LeighAnn Ayers.

The show can be viewed during regular library hours and ballots and the box are available at the exhibit. Check with the library if no ballots are available at the exhibit. 

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