Last night, the judges and the board of directors for the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation announced the winners in the miniature art contest, as well as some special awards. The presentation included wildlife art, tears, “junk,” precocious youth, landscapes, suede, and little girls in flight.
Best of Show was won by Deborah Day for her oil painting “Butterfly Girl.” It was the unanimous choice of the judges. Day depicted her granddaughter at age three wearing wings. “How many of you are grandparents out there?” Day asked as she accepted the award. “They automatically understand this painting. This is my granddaughter. She is my heartbeat.” Day gets free admission to the 2016 SKB workshop in Dubois for her win. [Look for our interview with Day, which will be posted here in the next few days.]
First Place in the Oil category went to Caleb Goggans for his piece “Finley Ranch Cottonwoods.” Second Place was won by Jerry Antolik for “Fairy Dance,” Third went to Mary Ann Davis for “Morning Light,” and Honorable Mention was earned by Irena Taylor for “Harvesting.”
In Watercolor, First Place was won by Julie McCellan for “Mist on the Norfolk.” Second Place went to Marvie Tipsword with “Party Bridge,” Third Place was won by Carol Peterson for “Giant Panda & Cub,” and Larry Wollam earned Honorable Mention for “Moonglow.”
Two awards were given in Acrylic. “Gems on the Wing” by Rusty Frentner won First Place, and “Working Girls” by Connie Spurgeon took Second Place.
In the Other Media category, First Place was won by Pushpa Sunder Mehta for her egg tempera piece “Timeless Moment With Nature.” Christine White won Second with her mixed media piece “Peaches.” Susan Fisher won Third Place with her bronze sculpture “Nandi.” Cyndi Taylor listed her medium as “junk,” but the judges were bewitched by her repurposing of a thrift store camera case for her piece “Steamfunc-tional Art.”
The Jim Parkman Purchase Award was won by Kitty Dodd for her piece “Tested,” which was colored pencil on suede board.
Martha Heppard won the High Plains Framing Award for her piece “Close Encounter.”
The entries by the scholarship students attending the SKB workshop were impressive, and the selections of the judges create a strong body of work. First Place went to Andy Wei for his (unfinished) graphite drawing “Grasp.” Second Place was won by Kayla Liller for “Deep Blue.” Third was won by Rebekah Rodriguez for “Flannel.” Stacy Tao won Honorable Mention for “Mackenzie.”
Lee Cable, Robert Koenke, and Mort Solberg served as judges.
In the absence of John Seerey-Lester, who was working on a deadline in Florida, Lee Cable chose the Roger Tory Peterson Award for outstanding depictions of the natural world. Marilyn Troutman won that prize for her pastel “Yellow Weaver.” Cable said, “The bird was extremely well done, but the composition was simple and brilliant. I wanted to ask, did you add the grass crossing in front of the bird, or was that in your reference photo? Was it genius, or reference?” Troutman replied that she invented the grass blades, which kept the viewer’s eye from leaving the picture plane.
When the circumstances warrant it, the SKB Foundation gives a Lifetime Achievement Award. The glass award reads, “The Susan Kathleen Black Foundation, in honor and with great respect and admiration for his lifetime of achievement, and his support of the art community, hereby confer upon him its lifetime achievement award.” This year, Mort Solberg was given this honor. It was a moving moment, and Solberg managed to say, “This is a total surprise.” Then he cried a bit.
“I do what I can and I’m trying to learn more; in everything, I try to learn more,” Solberg said after he collected himself. “I love this family here…this is enough to say. Thank you very much.”
Pam Cable was singled out for the Art Industry Award. This honor prompted a line of people to grab the mic and extol her virtues. Said Jim Parkman, the founder of SKB, “Of all the people we know, she is responsible for the biggest impact on people’s life in the art world. She has brought tremendous joy and pleasure to so many people.”
SKB board member Claudia Lampe said, “When Jim and I talked about a foundation to remember Susan, we thought we’d collect a little money and give out some scholarships. But we weren’t sure how to do that. We called Pam. She said, ‘Instead of giving out scholarships for other workshops, have your own.’ But we weren’t the people to do that. We put our trust and faith in this woman and she did a marvelous job. Pam’s knowledge of the industry has made it very, very rewarding.”
Added board member Peggy Kinstler, “Whenever I have needed anything to accomplish something, Pam has been there right away with exactly what I need. She makes working with this foundation so great.”
“Every letter I get from Pam is signed, ‘hugs,'” said Solberg. “That’s how she is with everyone—hugs.” Koenke chimed in, “You guys don’t know how much time and effort she puts into this. She’s a great leader. Congratulations.” Another board member, Devere Burt, noted, “When you get right down to it, Pam’s friends are everywhere. She’s a great leader. Congratulations.”
When it came time to accept the award, Cable was still in shock. “I’m never at a loss for words, but I don’t know what to say,” she said. “Thank you.”
She then took it a bit further, saying, “Thank you to Jim, and the board, and thanks to all of you for making this job such a blessing.” This was met with a long standing ovation. Ω