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2013 Art Winners

Prizes are awarded yearly to photographers and visual artists whose works are considered to be of exceptional artistic and humanistic merit.The visual art judge is Andrea Worley. Ms. Worley holds an MFA in painting and drawing from East Tennessee State University. She has consulted with, lectured, and taught drawing and painting at East Tennessee State University, Milligan College, and Gardner-Webb University. She has had shows of her work in art galleries in Johnson City (TN), Evansville (IN), Claremont (CA), Gardner-Webb University (NC), and, in 2009, at the Green-Rice Gallery in the historic NoDa art district of Charlotte. Following that exhibit, she developed macular holes in both eyes, requiring several surgeries and resulting in many drawings depicting what she saw and did not see during that time.

7A - carla Marcucci - Transformation of FrustrationFirst Place
Transformation of Frustration 

Carmen Marcucci   Age 16
Daughter of Gina Marcucci, Neural and Behavioral Scences

Judge’s Comments:

This mixed-medium drawing utilizes a classic compositional pyramid with the young woman’s right arm forming a solid horizontal base. Repeating this shape are the shards of glass that fly from her right fist—clearly the visual focus of the picture. Ostensibly, she is breaking glass in a fit of rage. Intense anger is most commonly expressed through the use of a strong red. Here, however, the intensity of the red is lessened by a touch of blue, which makes her gesture more intriguing.While on the surface this appears to be a portrait of a young woman letting loose of her anger, the expression on her face, the position of her body, and especially the beautiful piece of art she has created belie that. All of us have times of frustration and imagine things we would like to do to release it: slug a wall, smash a plate, knock over a plant. But fortunately most of us have learned to control our tendencies to act out in violence. I believe this is what the artist is conveying here, something opposite of what appears on first glance. This is exactly what the title says it is: a transformation of frustration.

23 - danny George - Orchid and sheet Second Place
Orchid and Sheet
©Daniel R. George, Ph.D.
Department of Humanities

Judge’s Comments:
Among the most beautiful and delicate flowers, orchids often take a long time to bloom, and they require a healthy source of light for the blooms to flourish. This scene is somewhat poignant in that the sheet masks the light that would enable the orchid to thrive.This work is of very limited complementary colors, red and green. The only object of heavy substance is the table, and its presence, along with the shadow it casts beneath, keep the viewer’s eye solidly within the work. The artist draws the viewer in through the dense red of the table and dark green of the leaves, then invites attention upwards with the arc of the petals. Placing the orchid’s bloom toward the wall and showing its curve downward, the artist moves the viewer’s eye down until it catches the edge of the table. Then a half-oval sweep leads back up to the sheet hanging over what is presumably a window. Within the folds of the sheet one can almost see the image of a face whose downcast eyes contribute to a sense of mystery—a sense of story we’re not told.

12A - Francesca Travagli - Mozambique MinerThird Place
Mozambique Miner
©Francesca Travagli – Age 18
Daughter of Florence Travagli   Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Judge’s Comments:
The life of a miner in Mozambique is very difficult and dangerous to his health. Although we cannot be sure what he is mining (coal? gold?), we are drawn in by his weariness and we are curious about his story. His eyes are closed. Has he made it through the day alive or is he just resting his eyes from exposure to dust or other substances in the mines? What are these written marks on his double-pieced cap? Is this the language he speaks? What is not in question is the miner’s strength, which the artist conveys with sureness of stroke.Most of the colors in this work are warm—yellows, oranges and reds. The painting of the miner’s clothing is particularly well done. The artist could have simply made the side of the vest duplicates of each other. Instead, dark black seams are boldly painted in a way that appears almost random but also increases the visual interest of the work. There are no signs of hesitation in the drawing of the black seams. Nothing seems worked and then reworked. The technique is as raw and honest as the single image of the miner himself.

2 - Ariana Iantosca - Spyglass forWEBHonorable Mention
©Ariana Iantosca   Age 17
Daughter of Mark Iantosca, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery

Judge’s Comments:
This collage is a whimsical take on finding one’s place in the world and where one is heading. The young woman seems to know Florida well, for the artist has hand-printed the names of the beaches on a map, as well as a recipe for a local delicacy. The map and recipe, however, are upside down, suggesting that this young woman’s world has turned topsy-turvy; now she’s like a pirate, looking for direction or a different horizon through her “spyglass” AriZona tea bottle—a fanciful way to suggest “reading tea leaves” as a means to see the future.The juxtaposition of undulating and straight lines is striking. The empty bottle’s white tea flowers are repeated on a larger scale in the bottom left of the drawing, which pushes the viewer’s eye back to the center of the work: the girl’s open eye, looking forward to see what’s coming. The bright lemon-yellow line that surrounds the girl suggests her struggle to maintain control of her journey and a wish that it is happy.

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