05/13/08 — Acrylic painting wins in Wayne art show

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Acrylic painting wins in Wayne art show

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on May 13, 2008 2:10 PM

An acrylic that brings a new interpretation to cubism won Best in Show honors at the Arts Council of Wayne County's 29th annual Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, while a photograph that told a story through contrasts was awarded Best in Wayne County.

"Pieced Together" by Susan Schumacher of Raleigh immediately impressed juror Wilford Scott. Scott is head of Adult Programs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

"As soon as I saw it, it caught my eye," he said shortly after selecting the winners.

He said the painting had an interesting palette and a well-handled complexity.

"The pattern struck me the same way," he said. "There is a cohesiveness ..."

Scott said he also was impressed by how Ms. Schumacher took a style more than 100 years old and practiced by such greats as Picasso, and showed not only knowledge of that style but an originality that made it her own.

Best in Wayne County went to Nelda Sharkey's photograph, "Contrast."

The picture shows the arm of a strong man holding a small infant.

"It's a strong, simple image," Scott said.

Often photographers get caught up in adding so much detail to a picture that they get an overly complex image, he said. "It's hard to get past the details and get to the essence of the picture."

In Ms. Sharkey's photograph, "You have this innocent, pure, beautiful child and a very muscular male," Scott continued. "There are scars on his arm. To me, this is more about life. We are all battered by life ... we all have struggles."

The second place award was given to former Goldsboro resident Windy Lampson, who now lives in Whitsett.

Scott said that her oil on campus, "King Street, Charleston," was a good example of photorealism. The painting shows a large, shiny Rolls Royce parked alongside some buildings.

"Obviously this person can paint very, very well," Scott said. "Photorealism was such a hot thing in the '60s. It has become sort of passé. I think one reason (for that) is that people think it can be easily done. That's not true."

He pointed to a reflection on the car, showing how the distortion makes it look real. Then he pointed to the buildings which, through her paint choices, are suppressed. This, he said, puts more attention on the car.

Scott said Ms. Lampson was able to present her painting the way she did because of her understanding of the materials she used.

Third place honors went to Robert Hennon of New Bern for his large oil on canvas entitled "Candied Apples."

"This one sort of speaks for itself," Scott said. "It is just so luscious."

It's "a very simple composition," he continued. "When you take something this simple, it's easy to go astray."

Scott said the way the wooden sticks are arranged in the apples pulls the composition together and gives it a kind of rhythm.

"It is visually compelling," he said.

"Night in Savannah," an oil on canvas by Kenneth Peters of Raleigh, won fourth place.

"There is a sense of mystery to it," he said.

He pointed out the illuminated window and the shadow of the tree in the lower left of the painting and said the work reminded him of that by artists Edward Hopper and Charles Burchfield. Both artists did most of their work in the 1940s through 1960s and concentrated on domestic structures.

Scott said he believes Peters must be aware of their work, but he didn't imitate it. Instead, he gave it his own interpretation.

Despite it being a painting of a house seen from outside, Peters' treatment takes it beyond the ordinary and routine, Scott said.

All of the entries in this year's show will be on exhibit from May 19 through 30. Hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Works chosen for the exhibit will remain on view through June 27.