In constant celebration of the beauty of nature, the St. Augustine Art Association is pleased to announce the award-winning artists from the 8th Annual Nature & Wildlife Art Exhibition, on display at 22 Marine Street through August 27.
Beverly Davis, of New Bedford, MA, won the $2,000 Best in Show Award for her bronze sculpture “Ambassadress from the Wild: Gorilla Mother and Child.” She accepted the award from the sponsors, Diane Bradley, President of the Art Association and her husband Bill Mayer, during the opening reception luau, July 22.
“Over the years, my work has been inspired by the miracles and mysteries in nature, but these majestic animals are disappearing fast,” said Beverly, who works in close observation to capture the vitality of her subjects. “All of the artists in this beautiful exhibit are communicating the urgency to preserve the delicate balance of nature, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” she said before a capacity crowd.
Ukranian-born artist Sergei Orgunov won the $1,000 First Place Award for his oil painting, “Great Egret.” Orgunov has won awards in the exhibition every year since its founding. The LaShane CPA $700 Second Place prize was given to Xi Guo, originally from China, for her watercolor landscape, “Tangle #1.” Leslie Young, from Daytona Beach, FL, won the $500 Third Place Award for “Nautilus #3,” a wood-turned sculpture, and the Jean Troemel Award was given to Stephen Courtney, of Marina del Rey, CA, for “Buffalo in Wyoming,” a large-scale photograph.
Four Artistic Merit Awards were presented to John Doddato, Palm Bay, FL, Rusty Frentner, Ypsilanti, MI, Chad Turner, Winter Park, FL, and Betty Hendrix, Whispering Pines, NC. Deborah LaFogg Docherty, Boynton Beach, FL, and Mary Jane Jones, Kingsland, GA, received Honorable Mention Awards.
Acclaimed illustrator and book cover artist Don Maitz judged the gallery-wide exhibition, which consists of 135 paintings, sculptures, photographs, assemblages, fiber art, drawings, batik and more. “Every aspect of this exhibition celebrates our natural world and the creatures who share our planet. It’s a feast for the eyes,” said Don.
A jury panel of experts curated the exhibit from more than 400 online entries that were submitted from across the United States and abroad, including Ireland, Dubai, and South Africa. It was installed by a team of volunteers under the direction of designer Marcia Pappas and sponsored in part by the Tourist Development Council.
All of the artwork in the exhibit is for sale, with proceeds benefiting the education programs of the St. Augustine Art Association and Audubon Florida. A free “Go Wild For Art” Scavenger Hunt in the gallery challenges kids to explore the artwork for clues and prizes.
For more information and tips on how to get involved, visit www.staaa.org.