1st Place, Representational, $1000.00 Cash Award
The Twins by Nancy Calder
Judges' comment: "This exquisitely rendered painting by Nancy Calder presents a serene tableau of muted tones and elegant shapes depicting a quiet moment in time. The slightly dented container reflects the surrounding shells, distorting the ovals and accentuating a rich palette. Contrasting this smooth collection is a rough hewn slab of wood, underlined by stark black. The perfect balance of horizontals and verticals is reinforced by the diagonal connecting the two birds. But what is really going on here? The bird on the right appears to be building the nest. But why here? Where did the eggs come from? Why is one broken? A sense of mystery is another element that enhances the viewer’s experience and takes this painting to another level."
2nd Place, Representational, $250.00 Cash Award
Zion Morning at Angel's Landing by Damien Gonzales
Judges' comment: "Damien Gonzales’ handling of light and shadow creates a powerful impact in this painting, capturing the drama of this spectacular scene. He has nicely developed a strong sense of depth, with the light playing off the canyon walls in the background and along the edge of the ridge in the foreground, leading the viewer’s eye through the scene. The band of light across the bottom of the work against the darker ridge frames it, with the splash of light highlighting the river below creating a bit of intrigue. The detail packed into this relatively small painting is amazing and very skillfully handled. It shows a deep knowledge of the subject matter. Mother Nature might have created the composition but Gonzales’ rendering of it is very well done."
1st Place, Abstract, $1000.00 Cash Award
Haze by Jason Sacran
Judges' comment: "Jason Sacran skillfully turns a landscape into a glorious abstract with a playful interaction of light and dark—turning what might be an ordinary scene into something beautiful and intriguing. The bold brush strokes with the splashes of light/color break up the vertical orientation of the work. The composition is strong, with the rays of light connecting the two areas of brightness. The glowing in the upper right catches the eye and leads it through the painting."
2nd Place, Abstract, $250.00 Cash Award
The Ban on Breathing by Nelya-Naki Akimova
Judges' comment: "The artist engages the viewer immediately with the impact of contrasts: lights against darks, smooth textures against rough, organic shapes punctuated by geometric. We are invited on a journey of exploration, to move through this painting, to discover what is behind these shapes. The dark images appear to be floating--another contrast against the solidity at the lower portion of the composition. Nelya-Naki‘s technique creates an almost musical rhythm that results in a compelling story. Our curiosity is piqued on so many levels and we are left with a desire to see more."