Award Winners — 1st National Open Juried Exhibition

Congratulations to all of the award winners in our 1st National Open Juried Exhibition. Our Judge of awards, Dawn Emerson PSA, has graced each of these fine paintings with her insightful comments.

Arete Award of Excellence, $1000:  “Winter Solitude”
by Catherine Grygiel

Let me tell you — this piece is a sleeper! One could easily miss the amazingness of it if you saw just another winter scene. It is quiet, subtle, and masterfully done in both design and technique. The title perfectly reflects the immense sense of quiet and solitude. Neutral greys, subtle flecks of sky blue, and complements buried in the details. It is gorgeous. Congratulations!

First Place Award, $750:  “Clouds Over the Harbor”
by Megan McCrea

This piece struck me for the unusual design and placement of the center of focus — the circular shape with the reflection of the clouds within it. The design of the piece makes the viewer’s eyes do exactly what the artist’s eyes must have done – finding that perfect, special moment. 

Second Place Award, $500:  “I Fly”
by Joanne Turner

Like yin and yang, the artist uses the elements of art and design expertly in this piece. By contrasting the values, texture, edges, positive and negative space, shapes, opacity and transparency of color in each bird, they have created a palatable sense of lift and movement that only birds can know.

Third Place Award, $300:  “Upper Quarry Falls”
by Doug Tweddale

This absolutely lovely piece grabs your attention from across the room. The overall design is strong and reinforces the architectural feeling of the rock layers. The vertical motion of water anchors us downward, while the angle of the trees opposes the upward thrust of the rocks.  The consequence of geologic movement is what we perceive when we view the image.  How cool is that?

Honorable Mention 1, $250:  “Wine Not?”
by Lonnie Johnson


The design and elegant minimalism of shape and line work together beautifully to convey the quality of glass in this “anti-still life.” The broken line and simplicity of color tell a story without any detail and let the viewer fill in everything else.

Honorable Mention 2, $250:  “Melting Moments”
by Mike Kolasinski

Another winter piece, but just look at the energy of marks and color the artist has used to create such a different mood of winter.  It is the total opposite of “Winter Solitude” which was handled in  a completely different manner. This is what artists do best – to convert their love of color and light into feelings the rest of us can share.

Honorable Mention 3, $250: “The Lion in Summer”
by William Schneider

The pastel medium is handled with great finesse in this piece. The artist captures the soft glow of youthful beauty that is so difficult to execute. The title confirms an underlying sense of seduction in the girl’s eyes that the viewer cannot deny.

George Torphy Memorial Award, $250:  “The Alumnus” by
Teresa DeSeve

I love this unusual portrait for several reasons.  The personality and easy confidence of the marks reflect the personality of the pose and attitude of this graduate. The use of color and design is daring and effective, and makes a wonderfully clear statement about the subject. Wonderful!

Philadelphia Watercolor Society Award, $250:  “A James Farm Morning”
by Al Richards

This piece glows with sensitivity to this special time of day. The palette and design are elegantly simple and clear. The transitions in the shadows are subtle and nuanced, and the overall effect is strong from a distance as well as up close.

Wayne Center Art Award, $100:  “Leaves”
by John Lloyd

What a beautiful design of color and shape in this painting. The subtle mottling of color shifts in shadow and light, and the positive and negative spaces all work together to sweep across the page and present us with the feel of a breath of wind.

Pastel Society of America Award, $100:  “Going Nuts”
by Jacqueline Meyerson

Personally, I would have gone nuts attempting this subject! The overall pattern and feeling of deep space created by all of these fasteners is wonderfully handled.

Rita Morrin Memorial Award, $100:  “Reflections”
by Anne Whalon

This is a fun, different approach to portraiture, where the subject’s image isn’t even the focus or in focus.  The cutting off of the bodies is bold and different. The shapes of color in the water keep our eyes moving, while the subjects standing along the rim of the pond are static.

Constance J. McClatchy Memorial Award for Use of Color, $100:  “Arrangement with Peonies”
by Tatsiana Harbacheuskaya

What a luscious feast of color and delicacy this artist has put together for us in this still life! The air between the petals can be felt as you touch this painting with your eyes.

Tampa Bay Pastel Society Award, $100:  “Picket Line”
by Lorraine Trenholm

This piece has a sense of playfulness and storytelling I appreciate in artwork. The artist has incorporated unlikely textural elements into the work to deliver an almost primitive view of horses playing hide and seek in a field.

Maryland Pastel Society Award, $100:  “The Uffizi”
by Marla Baggetta

This piece depicts the beauty of “less is more.” Edited down to just a few simple shapes and colors, the viewer is drawn to the light like a moth to a flame. Beautiful. 

Central Massachusetts Pastel Society Award, $100: 
“Feeding the Chickens”
by Linda Crane

I was struck by the wonderful sense of movement in this tiny piece. When you put your nose close to the painting, you’ll see how the texture on the ground helps to convey that frenetic sense that chickens have. I can hear them cackling.

PPS Board of Directors Award, $100:  “Reflections/You Are Enough”
by Jeri Greenberg

As I studied this painting, I was drawn to her blue aviator glasses and the interesting abstracted shapes of color dancing off her reflective lenses.  With her wild thick hair, warm toned skin and full rosy lips, one gets a sense of a strong, independent woman who won’t let society dictate how she leads her life!