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BFAC hosts reception to close annual juried art show

The Breckenridge Fine Arts Center closed the book on another art show this past weekend. The 31st Annual Juried Art Show and Competition came to close with an artist reception, held Saturday, Sept. 10.

The event hosted artists who entered items into the show and competition, as well as members of the community, allowing visitors to see the pieces of art one last time. BFAC Director Shalon Taylor Wilson thanked artists for entering pieces into the show, before introducing this year’s juror, Doylene H. Land.

“(...) The cool thing about Doylene is that she not only is technical, and she can not only tell you exact details about why different paintings are good, technically, but she also has the experience and then even the spirituality to appreciate the art in the emotion. Because we all know, art is great, technically, but it’s always even better when it’s emotional,” Wilson said.

Land began by thanking the artists and speaking on how BFAC has created a cultural center for Breckenridge and surrounding areas.

“(...) I also want to reiterate the fact that Breckenridge Fine Arts Center is really a great place to be, and to enjoy the arts. Because, like Shalon has said, under the guidance of the foundations, with the forward thinking and decision making of the board, and under the wonderful leadership of the super creative, art loving, enthusiastic director, Shalon Wilson, this fine art center is becoming a true and distinctive cultural center in this area. I’ve personally worked shows, juried art at many museums and art centers and galleries, and for a venue of this size, it can rival the best,” Land said. “(...) With the pandemic, we’ve had some difficult times with economics, people moving in and out of our area. But as you can see, with all of this year’s programming that we have here, we have not only survived, but we have thrived here. We have provided people a safe place, and an inspirational place to be creative, to be with other creative people and enjoy the arts and culture. So this 31st annual jury art show is the direct result of hard work, persistence and the support of our community.”

Before speaking about the award winning artists, Land discussed all of this year’s entries. Artwork of all different mediums was entered from New York, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Illinois, and from all across Texas, by artists of varying degrees of experience.

“So people ask me, ‘how do you judge art?’ Well, I’ll tell you, it is not easy. You don’t want that job. And this show in particular was extremely hard, due to the high level of artistic showing in every one of these pieces,” she said. “It was evident in the artists’ technique, the mastery of mediums, the beauty of your design, the professionalism in your presentation, the activity in the originality. I could tell I was going to have a lot of work to do to determine the best of the best. It was such high quality art in so many of the pieces, I had to delve a little bit deeper.”

Land wrapped up the evening with her critique of the top six entries, speaking first about three honorable mentions pieces, Imagine a Snailboat by Patti Rae Welborn, of Abilene, Finding Balance Between Two Places by Elise Techentine, of Granbury, and Leftover Ham and Eggs by Judi Simon, of Hewitt.

She then moved on to the fourth place and winner of the Travis H. Toland Memorial Award, Fancy by Iwona Jankowski, of Magnolia.

“Viewing this piece from a distance, I was intrigued by the excitement, the intensity, the energy emitting the painting. It drew me in to observe closer, the shapes and forms that were fashioned by the bright colored lines. And to my surprise, the lines turned out to be created with stitching and yarn rather than with paint. This is a unique way of painting with an unusual painting medium,” Land said.

Grains of Life II by Patsy Lindamood, of Huntsville, was the third place winner and also recipient of the Lester and Virginia Clark Memorial Award. Land spoke about this painting next.

“So many people mistake a lot of Patsy’s work as photographs, especially if you just walk into the gallery and kind of look at it at a distance. (...) This painting has absolutely changed my way of looking at Texas landscapes,” she said. “This is what art should do, reorganize our thinking, to see, to connect to, to have emotions and feelings about places and things that we might otherwise disregard.”

The juror then spoke about the second place winner, and winner of the Clay Pitzer Memorial Award, Offering of Strength by Barbara Hack, of Flower Mound.

“In my notes, the first word I wrote down was ‘strength’. And before I knew what the title was, I saw strength in the skills and the mastery and the artist’s technique with the handling of the oils, the design and the use of color. But I also saw strength in the stature of that subject, the young lady, her direct gaze and the placement of her arms, the use of complementary colors of red, and green and V-shaped design patterns emphasizes her strengths. The details and the softness of her sweater, the hair, the curls, the face, the skin, contrasted and set against the broad, simplistic brushstrokes of the background, this evokes a sense of (...) vulnerability, and powerfulness,” Land said.

The best was saved for last, with Land critiquing Best of Show winner, New Kid on the Street by Maureen Killaby, of Lindale.

“So when I first saw this painting, I tried to look away. (...) I wanted to disregard it, but something, I don’t know, I just kept coming back to it. Whether it was the bright colors and the brushstrokes of the hair surrounding the texture of the skin. (...) I kept coming back because I wanted to know her, or perhaps I wanted to be her. I had questions about her. And despite my uncertainty, I was compelled to look at the painting itself because it had visual balance. I could discern that the use of the textures, the stitching on her jeans and the bulk of the shirt, the wispy curls of smoke and the angles of her body stature that communicated some kind of language. It all formed a really pleasing and unified design,” Land said. “But more so this painting lends itself to discussion. (...) We question, ‘is this subject too old to be wearing a Sesame Street tee shirt? Or is she too young to smoke a cigar? And what kind of girl smokes a cigar anyway, or is it really hers?’ (...) This piece displays excellence of technique, craftsmanship and presentation. It includes elements of art design. It’s creative, it’s original, and it shows the artist’s passion for her work. But as the best in show, it stands out because it causes the viewer, you and I, whether we like it, or we don’t like it, it causes us to bring something to the work, to question, to ponder.”

Juror Doylene H. Land for the 31st Annual Juried Art Show and Competition gives her critique during a reception held Saturday, Sept. 10.

Photo/Kylie Bailey

Breckenridge American


114 East Elm Street

PO Box 871

Breckenridge, Texas 76424

Phone: (254) 559-5412
Fax: (940) 228-0589