ARTS-PPLBy Kathy Collins

Earlier this month the Brandon League of Fine Arts announced the winners of Artworks 2015 at Center Place in Brandon. Artworks is a juried art show. The artwork will be on display at Center Place through the end of September.

This year’s show featured 50 works of art. Sue Allen, Chair of Artworks 2015 said, “I am enormously proud of this, our 15th Artworks Exhibition. Center Place and Brandon League of Fine Arts offer this opportunity to local artists each year. They submit their best new work for consideration and a highly qualified judge selects the pieces which are accepted to be exhibited. There were over 70 works of art submitted.” Allen added, “We consider this exhibit to be a gift to the community. Artworks includes some of the best this area has to offer.”

This year’s judge was Bruce Marsh, an accomplished artist, Professor Emeritus with USF and a resident of Ruskin. Marsh said of Artworks, “I selected works for awards which seemed to me to show invention, imagination, and a mastery of form and technique. I chose images with strong compositions which had visual impact and were unique in some aspect. Color is an aspect of form which for me is extremely important, and the works I chose all had informed and explorative use of color.”

Marsh added, “Judging is subjective; no accurate way of judging art is possible. The level of commitment and quality, shown by all the work here, is commendable. Prizes and awards are of small importance compared to the personal satisfaction and shear pleasure of painting and drawing.”

As this is a juried show, Marsh reviewed all entries and selected the ones to be in the show. He then went through the selected entries and judged them for awards.

This year’s winners included Honorable Mentions to Carol Harrar of Lithia for Sycamore, and to Deborah Biasetti of Riverview for Gala Iguana.

Third place went to Carol Frye of Lakeland for her piece, The Great Divide. Marsh said of this piece, “Mixed media, in which watercolor, gesso and color pencils come together in this totally original abstract painting. The viewer should draw their own conclusion using the title as a reference or just enjoy the trip around this colorful, imaginative work of art.

Second place was awarded to Kathy Durdin of Tampa for Bowleg Creek. Marsh said of this piece, “Watercolor portrait of a man we might have met 100 years ago or at a county fair yesterday. It is painted with a fresh, splashy use of color and the direct gaze of the man’s eyes draws the viewer into his world.”

The first place award ($500 donated by Center Place) was given to Greg Jones of Lakeland for his mixed media called The Open Box. Marsh said of this piece, “Mixed media, conceptual piece, depicting a stack of dynamite inside an open box. The viewer can make their own interpretation, but it is considered a high concept idea presented in an almost three dimensional form in which the artist used the overlaid glass as part of the composition.”

Jones is an accomplished artist who has accumulated over 1,100 awards. He just finished an exhibit at the Polk Museum of Art. Jones explained his piece, “I had photos of cigars. I wanted to do something serious, so I changed them to look like dynamite. In this case, I can explode something in art.”

In addition, the Minnette Webster Memorial Award, donated by the Greater Brandon Arts Council, was given. Webster was a long time member of the Greater Brandon Arts Council who was a beloved member of the community. This award was funded through donations given after her death. For the next 10 years, the award will be given annually. This year it was presented to Joose Hadley of Odessa for Elle.

The Brandon League of Fine Arts also presented its annual scholarship. This year, the scholarship amount was increased to $1,000 and presented to Jamie Williams who is studying art at Hillsborough Community College.

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