09/21/04 — Artist catches prize with her 'Netted Fish'

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Artist catches prize with her 'Netted Fish'

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on September 21, 2004 2:02 PM

The fish rise up, their mouths pointed toward the mouth of the pottery on which they appear. Behind and around them are nets with patterns that cover the pottery the same way the scales cover the fish.

"It's rather amusing to look at the pattern," said Linda Crocker Simmons.

Ms. Simmons has worked for more than 30 years in the art museum field, 26 of them as a curator for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Linda Goodwin's vase

News-Argus/Winkie Lee

Linda Crocker Simmons examines "Netted Fish," the work of art that won Linda Goodwin of Goldsboro the Best in Wayne County Award at this yearÍs National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition.

On Monday morning, she was at the Arts Council of Wayne County's art center judging the entries for the 25th Annual National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition.

"Netted Fish," a work by Linda Goodwin of Goldsboro, was named Best in Wayne County.

"Untitled," a coffee table done by Timothy Lazure of Greenville, was named Best in Show.

In discussing "Netted Fish," Ms. Simmons said that the work showed a sense of design that related beautifully to the medium -- a clay pot fired in a Raku kiln.

The pot is both functional and decorative, she said, which shows that the artist understood how design related to form and its function.

"Untitled" appealed to Ms. Simmons in part because the lines and materials "are just really quite lovely," she said. "The wonderful quality of the scooping curve in the top of the table reflects the shape of the steel base. I find it elegant and very sophisticated. It's not just a table. It is a sculpture, also."

Receiving the second-place award was "Frosty Reception," an oil on canvas that showed cattle in a frosty field. It was painted by Doug Strickland of Benson.

Ms. Simmons said that Strickland "found the middle ground between being an illustrator and a fine artist."

Even before one reads the title, she said, "you get a sense of the nature of the cattle. He gives them a quality of character."

The judge was amused by the work's title because it showed both a cold environment and, in the cattle's expressions, a cold reception to the viewer.

"Hung Out to Dry," by Wilfred Loring of Hays, Kan., won third place. The aquatint "is almost like a still life, but it's not," Ms. Simmons said.

Loring "is dealing with three-dimensional forms" and takes something mundane -- laundry -- "and develops a lovely pattern. He is capturing a moment in time."

In the work, which shows pieces of laundry blowing in the wind, the artist uses light and darkness to make the piece effective.

The fourth-place honor was given to "Geo II," an acrylic painting by Nancy Dolce of Raleigh. Ms. Simmons found the abstract work interesting. She said the artist used the elements that are art -- color, line and form -- in a successful way.

The repetitions in the work are "pleasing to the eye," she said, and she found the work "rather peaceful, yet quietly innovative."

Ms. Simmons also awarded nine honorable mentions. They went to an oil painting by Allen Mumford of Goldsboro, an oil painting by Phyllis Riley of Oak Island, a mixed media by Ray Elmore of Greenville, a mixed/collage by Hannah Craven of Raleigh, an acrylic painting by Penny Craven of Kinston, a mixed media by Charles Elrod of Youngsville, a steel work by Joseph Handzel of New Bern, a cast iron piece by Patrick Toups of Greenville and a stoneware and clay work by Joann Lobur of Raleigh.

Two pieces were awarded Juror's Choice. They were a sculpture by Hanna Jubran of Grimesland and a wood and graphite by Ron Koehler of Cleveland, Miss.

A total of 301 pieces were entered in this year's competition. Ms. Simmons chose 66 to be placed in the exhibit. Of those, six were done by Wayne County artists. In addition to Mumford and Ms. Simmons, they are Rudine Aycock, Adam Brown, D.J. Rose and Christy Howell Sullivan.

Works chosen for the exhibit and all works entered will be on view Friday at a "Preview to Purchase" party at the art center, 2406 E. Ash St., from 6 until 8 p.m. They will also be on view Saturday and Sunday from 1 until 5 p.m. After that, all works will remain on display through Sunday, Oct. 3, and selected works will remain on display through Friday, Oct. 22. Gallery hours will be 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

People interested in playing music during the Saturday and Sunday show can call Executive Director Alice Strickland at 736-3300.