With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Center Place of Brandon recently held its first National Contemporary Juried Competition and Exhibition- Square’s Off. The competition drew many submissions and approximately 20 artists from as far away as California were selected to compete. There were five winners selected by juror, Elizabeth Kozlowski. The five won a total of $950 in prize money.

The five winners were Leonard Brzezinski, who won Best of Show. Brzezinski hails from San Jose, California. First place went to Tiffany Sikora from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Second place was awarded to Deborah Biasetti of Riverview. Third place went to Barry Goodman of St. Petersburg, and Leslie Jennings of Tampa received an honorable mention award.

Juror, Kozlowski said of the artwork and judging, “It was a pleasure to serve as the 2017 juror for the Inaugural National Contemporary Juried Competition and Exhibition, Center Place’s Square’s Off. It was a daunting task to choose the final works from the many accomplished submissions. The talent that has taken root in our local community and beyond continues to inspire me. Each work of art was carefully selected for its exploration and mastery of concept, material and technique.”

Kozlowski is an independent curator and has over 12 years of curatorial and gallery experience with a specialty in contemporary ceramics. Her most recent exhibition, The Wildlife Project, is travelling nationally and debuted at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in the fall of 2015. Center Place’s Square’s Off was a unique competition and exhibition in that all of the artwork had to be in the shape of a square. Center Place asked the artists to “think outside of the BOX as you create a unique square piece of art.”

Center Place was created by the community in 1976 and has been an advocate and fierce promoter of the arts ever since. Center Place is celebrating its 40th year as a not-for-profit cultural arts center proudly serving the greater Brandon area. For information on Center Place and to see what exhibits and events are coming up, visit centerplacebrandon.org or call 685-8888.