PICKENS – The award winners in the 35th annual Juried South Carolina Artists Exhibition at the Pickens County Museum of Art & History were announced during a reception and ceremony held April 26.
The Juror for this year’s competition was Clark Whittington, an artist and the creator of the Art-o-mat, retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to vend art. Whittington viewed 315 works of art representing 170 South Carolina artists on April 11 and April 12. The final selection of 113 works of art represented 94 individuals.
“With any exhibit of this nature, the juror’s job is to make selections based on their background, vision and general preferences,” Whittington said. “Being an artist who has always lived in the western half of the Carolinas, I feel connected to the landscape and its inhabitants. At the end of day, the artworks awarded in this exhibit were chosen because they made me feel comfortable, as if we were having a visual conversation.”
Whittington chose the mixed media painting “Escape Pod # 13” by Hopkins’ Richard Morgan as the first place award winner. Second place was presented to Karen Maters of Liberty for her collage “Eat Your Asparagus.” The third place honor went to Spartanburg’s Jim Creal for his lithograph, “Donnelley Wildlife Management Area: Storm Clouds Gather.”
Juror’s Choice Awards were given to Linda Hyatt Cancel of Laurens for her oil painting “A Mother’s Glove” and to Clemson’s Sam Wang for his photograph “Untitled (Dogwoods).”
Whittington presented Honorable Mention Awards, denoting artwork of special interest, to Jamie Lee Gillespie of Pickens for the oil painting “Table Rock from Papa’s Canoe”; to Easley’s Shaula Jo Johnston for her paper and acrylic collage “Some Glad Morning”; to Hamed Mahmoodi of Greenville for his mixed media painting “Monkey Maze”; to Greer’s Tracy Metge for her acrylic mixed media painting “A Singing Bird Will Come”; and to Patricia Stalb of Central for her jewelry work “Bird in Hand.”
Allen Coleman, director of the museum, chose the charcoal and white pastel drawing “Portrait of Mona Canino” by John Schaeffer of Seneca as the recipient of the 2014 Director’s Choice Award.
The Pickens County Museum selected six works that, within the scope of their mission directive, will be added to the museum’s permanent collection.
The Pickens County Cultural Commission’s Purchase Award honoring Shirley Sarlin was presented to Kolton Miller of Central for the watercolor and graphite work “Aristocracy.”
The 2014 Susan B. Benjamin Memorial Purchase Award was presented to Diarmuid Kelly of Moore for his oil painting “I was Just Thinking.”
The 2014 Seth Schafer Heimlich Memorial Purchase Award was presented to Patricia Stalb of Central for her copper, enamel, onyx, silver and steel jewelry “Not For The Timid.”
Additional Museum Purchase Awards were made to Easley’s Bill Jordan for his photograph “Paul’s Birthday”; to Kathleen Wiley of Walhalla for her oil painting “Tiger Portrait”; and to Greenville’s Lu Wixon for her acrylic painting “Paris Mountain from Pickens Wildlife Overlook.”
The exhibition is on view until June 12 at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History, 307 Johnson St. in Pickens. Call the museum at 864-898-5963 or visit www.pickenscountymuseum.org for more information.