‘Peace’ and ‘Beneath the Cedars’ captures top art honors

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 103 views 


story and photos by Ruby Dean
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Peace, Cedars and blowing wind were subjects for some of the winning artworks in the 34th Annual Adult Artist competition at the Center for Art & Education in Van Buren.

The Center for Art & Education began its organization in 1976 but was formerly known as the Crawford County Art Center. It originally was located in the city-owned Van Buren Community Center and in 1984 moved into the historic St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

The center has increased in number and expanded in diversity since it first opened its doors. They now serving 5,000 individuals of all ages. Its mission is that every citizen can experience art.

The 34th Annual Adult Artist Competition hosted 113 works of art by 47 different artists from Van Buren and the surrounding area with a variety of mediums being represented. Sixty-five guests showed up for the award ceremony which was held at 2 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 12)  with guests trickling in and out until 4 p.m.

The center seeks to accomplish two objectives by holding the 34th Annual Adult Artist Competition: encourage new artists to feel comfortable with their work and having it displayed, and for the artists to continue to develop their artistic skills and keep doing art.

One such lady who will continue showing her work after today is Ashley Parish. This is the first time she displayed her work. She has been painting all her life, but with motherhood comes challenges. She has a 3- and 5-year old who need a lot of attention and therefore Parish has to find what little bit of time she can to paint in short intervals.

Parish’s first show will be in June 2011 at the Dallas Branch Library in Fort Smith. She is working on getting her pieces together. Parish is the winner of the People’s Choice Award for her acrylic painting “Strike Zone.”

Upon deciding who the winners were, Juror Sonia Davis Gutierrez of New Design School looked for a piece that “embodies feeling and evokes an inner place which we may never see unless the artist chooses to share it with us.”

The winners were:
Richard and Helen Hodo Juror’s Choice Award: Sara Switzer, “Peace”
First Place: Barbara Loftin, “Beneath the Cedars”
Second Place: Kay Aclin, “When the Wind Blows”
Third Place: James Connor, “Battle of Britain”

Merit Awards:
Doris Echols Color Award: Dede Hutcheson, “Sunset”
Carolyn Holmes Perspective Award: James Fair, “Texas Route 35”
Alice Adele Boatright Award – Architectural: Martha Efurd, “Volterra, Italy Number 1”
Ethel Ashley Founders Design Award: Sharon Gonzalez, “Woods”
Amie Fellwock Watercolor Award: Irene Roberts, “Esperanza (Waiting)”
Helen Hallum Pastel Award: Cindy Sugg, “Ashley”
Mildred U. Peak Acrylic Award: Son Tran, “Wondersea”

People’s Choice Award (voted on by guests): Ashley Parish, “Strike Zone”

Honorable Mentions:
Kay Aclin, “Jazz Men”
Sara Switzer, “Arctic”
Paula Rupp, “Out of the Shadows”
Jeanette Foreman, “Paco”
Patricia Lappin, “Dueling Guitars”
Jason Sacran, “Talise”
Tina Jenkins, “Jonah & the Whale”