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Art in the County shines spotlight on County artists

AITC-top-award-Graham-Davies

Photographer Graham Davies was congratulated by Otto Rogers as receipient of the $300 Otto Rogers Award of Excellence.

 

Falconer House by Graham Davies

Falconer House by Graham Davies

Multi award-winning photographer Graham Davies captured the prestigious Otto Rogers Award of Excellence Friday night at the opening of the 23rd annual Art in the County exhibition and sale.

Though he has been recipient of at least eight Art in the County awards over the years, this is the first time he has received the top award.

His analogue photograph, titled “Falconer House” is part of a series he’s doing called “10 Seconds” meaning every exposure is 10 seconds long.

“I get to choreograph the model, so we rehearse it, then she gets to move within the 10 seconds.

“I’m extremly surprised to get Otto Rogers’ award given that he’s an abstract painter. I wouldn’t have thought he would give one to photography, but he has. I’m honoured.”

Davies, a photographer for more than 50 years, has been a commercial and theatrical photographer. His career also encompasses portraiture and photojournalism for the British National Press. He favours film, in black and white, and continues to handprint images in his darkroom at The Bald Photographer gallery and studio in Cherry Valley.

Rogers, now based in Prince Edward County, is one of Canada’s foremost contemporary practitioners of colour-field painting and assembled steel sculpture. His work is represented in more than 1,600 public, corporate and private collections.

Davies’ image Falconer House was also a winner of the show’s Jurors Awards – selected by three Canadian art professionals earlier this week. Adam Welch, of the National Gallery, Neville Smith, of the Society of Graphic Designers and Su Sheedy, a Kingston artist, chose five Jurors’ Awards and five Honourable Mentions.

“This haunting photograph, which evokes the early history of photography, is beautifully composed, and realized,” said Welch, on behalf of the jurors. “It suggests a narrative that is otherworldly and of another time.”

Krista Dalby with her Jurors Award winning "Al Purdy" the jurors called "A remarkable constructed paper sculpture. Delicate and detailed, it is a testament to the work of a great writer by a very talented and imaginative sculptor."

Krista Dalby with her Jurors Award winning “Al Purdy” the jurors called “A remarkable constructed paper sculpture. Delicate and detailed, it is a testament to the work of a great writer by a very talented and imaginative sculptor.”

Krista Dalby is known in the County for her work with puppetry and as co-founder of the Firelight Lantern Festival. And though she has completed a number of “boxtopia” large-scale cardboard installations, her Jurors’ Award-winning cardboard sculpture of Al Purdy was the smallest piece she has done.

“Honestly it was just an artistic experiment,” said Dalby, who notes she normally works in large scale and is currently building a cardboard set for the Festival Players production of Tales of a Town opening next month. “This is the first time I’ve entered Art in the County, or any art show for that matter.”

The three remaining Jurors’ Awards went to Karole Marois for her acrylic on wood “Devil’s Picker”; to Peter Mennacher for his etching and aquatint “Hypolithe and Yolanda in Kyoto” and to Kato Wake, for her mixed media “Commute YYZ”.

Terry Culbert with his two entries. Of the Jurors Award winning "Longjohn Leroy" the jurors said his "painting is fun and lively, and wonderfully well-executed. The image is graphic and strong, and stays in one's memory."

Terry Culbert with his two entries. Of the Jurors Award winning “Longjohn Leroy” the jurors said his “painting is fun and lively, and wonderfully well-executed. The image is graphic and strong, and stays in one’s memory.”

The five Honourable Mention Awards were presented to:
Terry Culbert, for his acrylic “Longjohn Leroy”; W. Hew Elcock, for Early Morning, a gouache on paper; Tom Humphries, for his mixed media “The Oracle”; Lesley Snyder for her hand-dyed silk and merino wool “Blueberry Swirls” and Wendy Vervoort, for “Vessel” created from burrs.

The jurors’ message noted “they were deeply impressed by the talent, creativity and commitment shown by the artists in the County. They felt privileged to see paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, textiles and other delightfully inventive works and extended their congratulations.”

Steve Ferguson, acting mayor, noted he was probably singing to the choir when he said he believed “you’re never too young, or too old, to pursue an interest in the arts that may ignite a passion that may lead you to participating in an event like this.”

Noting the economic benefits of the show for the County, he said it also allows the artists and organizers “to influence through your art, and this show, the importance of art to the way we see the world, feel about the world and think about the world.”

The final award, The Peoples’ Choice, will be determined by visitors’ ballots and will be presented at the close of the exhibition.

Hosted by the Prince Edward Arts Council, the show continues until Sunday, July 10 on the second floor of Books & Company, 289 Main St., Picton. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (until 5 p.m. Sundays and until 3p.m. on July 10). Admission is $3 for adults. Children 12 and under are free of charge. For more information, visit www.artinthecounty.com

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