Currently showing at the Victor R. Small House is a variety of artwork done in various media, all part of the Sampson Arts Council’s 4th Annual Juried Art Show. The artwork of 22 artists will be on display until Nov. 20 and is free to the public to view during regular business hours or by appointment.
During the artist’s reception this past Thursday, the winners were announced while pianist Mary Goodwin entertained guests.
Kara Donatelli, executive director of the Sampson Arts Council, said she was thrilled with the entries and the magnitude of all the art that was submitted for the show.
“It is amazing to look at these pieces and see the work that has gone into them. From the novice to the professional artist, the works presented are really impressive. Our judge was impressed and stated that it was difficult to make the various selections,” stated Donatelli.
This year’s judge was Bill Gramley from Lewisville. He is a retired Moravian minister, a graduate of Davidson College, a pastel artist for the past 18 years and a past president of Associated Artists of Winston-Salem.
“I had difficulty narrowing the art work down to the award group. As with all judging, it often ends up being one individual’s preferences, and so I have shared mine for this art show,” explained Gramley.
Best in Show was awarded to Annette Szczekutek of Fayetteville. This was Szczekutek’s second consecutive years being selected for the award. The piece she entered this year was entitled “Canna Leaves, Fall” which was done with oil on canvas.
“I am extremely pleased to have won this award two years in a row. I am completely surprised as I had already selected the piece I thought was going to win,” expressed Szczekutek.
The judge stated that he picked the painting for Best in Show because of the flowing leaves with coordinated colors that was painted in such a way as to show a sense of motion.
“Running Cheetah” took second place. The photograph of a running cheetah was taken by William Dixon from Charlotte while he was in Africa. Gramley shared that the graceful and powerful surge of the sleek animal caught his attention as did the colors of both the animal and those of the background. “The photo certainly captures the spirit of the hunter seeking his prey,” cited the judge.
Vickie Crane was another artist to take home accolades.
“I am pleasantly surprised,” remarked Crane. The self-taught artist has been doing colored pencil art for about four years and was truly surprised when she was named the second place winner for her piece entitled “Beach Bud.” Crane is from Sampson County and is the director of the Sampson Convention and Visitor Bureau. Her artwork was a detailed drawing of a red rose bud lying on the white sands of the beach.
“I find doing colored pencil art very relaxing, but it has to be something that I have to feel very passionate about in order for me to draw it,” said Crane. The judge shared that when he first saw the drawing he thought it was a photograph but upon seeing the piece up close he realized it was done with colored pencils. “It is done ever so precisely with a focus on the flower balanced by the less intense background of sand and sky,” explained Gramley.
Another Sampson native won third place for his oil on canvas painting of “Little Geniuses at Work.” Robert Hall shared that this was his first time entering the Arts Council’s Juried Show. Hall’s painting is fun to look at as a variety of animals are all going about their work in the piece. Gramley asserted, “This painting tells a story or gives a message, something that art can do beyond color, design and shape. The artist is skillful in painting the various animals at work and the arrangement of this gang is balanced and interesting to the viewer.”
Hall has been painting since he was about age two and can be seen in the Village of Yesteryear at the State Fair doing an artist exhibition, something he as done for the past 28 years. “I have truly been blessed through my art,” expressed Hall.
Grace Ho was awarded the People’s Choice Award, voted on by those in attendance at the reception on Thursday evening. Ho’s piec,e entitled “Four Seasons,” is four panels done to represent the four seasons and was truly appealing to many of those in attendance.
There were three honorable mentions that were awarded. The first went to Beth Hill from Wayne County for her artwork entitled “The Chicken or the Egg.” Hill is an art teacher and also instructs at the Small House and helps with arts camp each summer.
Rose Kennedy was also an honorable mention winner with her painting from the natural work entitled, “Silent Fisherman.” It is a peaceful painting and tells us to be patient like the crane in the painting, maybe to stop and look at the world around us, cited the show’s judge.
Jonathan Starling from Fayetteville took the final honorable mention with a photograph he took in Europe. For the casual observer it appears to be a painting but with closer examination the viewer will discover that the piece is actually a photograph.
“Hopefully the citizens of Clinton and Sampson County will come by and see the wonderful artwork on display here at the Small House. It is amazing to see the many pieces done by local artists. I am thankful that I did not have to judge for I like everything that is displayed. We urge everyone to come by. Many of the pieces are for sale. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up masterpiece,” asserted Donatelli.
Gallery hours at the Small House are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Other times by appointment by call ing 910-596-2533.