COVID-19 has affected us all – closing doors, cancelling events, and moving us further away from each other. To comply with recommendations of the CDC, the St. Augustine Art Association temporarily closed its doors to the public in March but knew that the show must go on. Art is arguably a vital component to our mental well-being because it allows for expression, inspiration, and offers an escape from current circumstances.
The Art Association’s Spring Members Show has historically been one of the biggest exhibits on our calendar since it truly represents the vibrancy and diversity of our local artists. As we transition into a new normal with increased dependence on the Internet, it made sense to make the exhibit digital. Artists are still able to show their work, connect with the audience, and thanks to award sponsors 97Park Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Alice Alger and the Jean Wagner Troemel Award Fund, can still be recognized with awards–something the St. Augustine Art Association is proud to do for each monthly exhibit.
“This is a challenging season but I am grateful that art continues to lift us all through a myriad of universal expressions,” said Judge Kurtis Loftus (Jacksonville’s Deck the Chairs) who recognized ten artists with awards.
Best in Show was given to sculptor Todd Lane for his bronze The Workin’ Man. “This sculpture was just what I needed to see: simple, honest and a time almost forgotten,” Loftus remarked of the piece.
First Place went to Martha Ferguson for the beautiful strokes and elements of light in her oil painting, Afternoon Light. Accomplished photographer Lenny Foster was awarded Second Place for Inside Love, a glimpse into the intricacy of a flowering magnolia. Christina Grace Mastrangelo received Third Place for In Our Nature–Dreaming, a calming oil painting full of beauty and elegance, and Sergei Orgunov took fourth for his striking rendition of a roseate spoonbill, Pretty in Pink.
One of the newer awards, the Alice Alger Most Creative Award, is given to a piece that does something different–shows the ability to create a narrative abstractly through technique and creativity. Kay Wells’ photograph Living in a Bubble presented itself as a mysterious alien world and received this award.
Four deserving works were credited with Honorable Mentions: Cuban, Puerto Rican, American–Confidence by Lisette Otero-Lewis, Strength and Beauty, Overcast Afternoon by Mayte Parsons, Dreamscape Bunny by Debra Mixon-Holliday, and Doreen Hardie’s Florida River.
All of these award-winning works and dozens of others by local artists can be viewed in the St. Augustine Art Association’s Spring Members Online Exhibit now through April 30th. All of the works are for sale, unless noted NFS, with all proceeds directly benefitting the artists and programs of the St. Augustine Art Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art organization founded in 1924.
Explore the online exhibit by visiting www.staaa.org. Featured image by Kay Wells.