Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Still Life Painting Competition: The Results

The competition was fierce. 
The final day of the competition flew by. As the lunch break began the sounds of Eye of the Tiger echoed in the studios and to welcome the artists back for their final four hours we played Chariots of Fire. While the painters continued to add finishing touches and elements (an egg yolk, shrimp tentacles, a rose...), pizza was ordered from Slice, a keg was procured from our neighbors, Rockaway Brewing Company and bouquets of paintbrushes were arranged for the winners and finalists thanks to our friends at Trekell Professional Art Supplies.

The Competition Judges with the winning painting (from left):
 Tony Curanaj, Sarah Lamb & William H. Gerdts
As guests gathered in the gallery and the lounge, our three judges undertook the challenge of choosing the three winners. They returned to each painting several times, initially examining the painting next to its set-up. They first checked to make sure each composition had at least three of the mystery objects. They then evaluated the works based on the drawing, composition, perspective, light effect and paint quality. They also judged each as an overall work of art and whether it speaks to the aesthetic values of the classical still life tradition.

The Awards Ceremony at Eleventh Street Arts was packed and live streamed on Instagram.

Tony Curanaj thanked the artists for taking "the time to come here and do something that is incredibly intimidating...there's no safety net in what you did, getting in there, working from life and having a very short amount of time to do it - considering how long some of us spend on some of the work we do to get it to such an excellent quality. But hopefully we are all influencing each other to raise the bar higher and bring the artistic idea of what we are doing to a very high level. And maybe even down the road adding and contributing to society in a positive way -- so that our little part may be a very small whisper that could start something that could be very big down the road."

Sarah Lamb added that "every painting was exquisite and gallery worthy. There is something beautiful to be said about each and every painting - there were moments in each that were exquisite. The top three was the hardest thing for all of us. We went back and forth and narrowed it down and it was not easy."

The judges discussed and debated and ultimately reached their decisions. After thanking our team of competition monitors and staff at GCA, the winners were announced:

1st place winning $10,000: Alex Venezia aka The Milk Carton Kid
2nd place winning $3,000: Sam Hung aka The Postman
3rd place winning $2,000: Julie Beck aka King Chroma

Alex's Grandma was beaming the rest of the night!
The studios were then opened and everyone viewed the final paintings, set-ups and toasted all of the competitors on an incredible collection of paintings. The work ethic we witnessed all week was raising the bar inspiring. Congratulations!!!

We'll be sharing photos of the final paintings shortly after the July 4th holiday. Some paintings need to dry, get varnished and a few artists have decided to make a couple adjustments to their work based on feedback they sought out from the judges. We also want to take higher quality photos than our process shots. But we highly recommend that you come see the paintings in person. We'll have two more public viewing events during LIC Arts Open Third Thursday Gallery nights: July 20 & August 17th at Eleventh Street Arts.

In the meantime, enjoy the artists at work:

1st place winner Alex Venezia (The Milk Carton Kid)

2nd place winner: Sam Hung (The Postman)

3rd place winner: Julie Beck (King Chroma)

Liz Beard (Bristles & Coffee)

Lucas Bononi (Nollie-Tre)

Kevin Müller Cisneros (Mondavi)

Emma Hirst (Rupert Everton)

Brendan Johnston (Winckel Man)

Rodrigo Mateo (SNOC)

Ron Richmond (Dedalus)

Justin Wood (Mealy Potatoes)

Dale Zinkowski (Sir Mix-a-Lot)

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