Reception cake2019 Fifth Annual NorthStar
National Watermedia Juried Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: October 3-November 14, 2019

NorthStar held an opening reception for the National Juried Exhibition at Lakeview Area Art Center on October 27, 1919, 2-4 pm. Juror Patrick Pryor presented awards and made the following comments.

I judged using the following criteria:
–Does the work show a dedication to the practice of painting?
–Is the work’s subject matter compelling?
–Does the work’s composition further compel the subject matter and showcase the artist’s talent?

These are my reactions – both emotional and technical.

SweeneyMerit Award: Tara Sweeny, Mary’s Daughter (photo left)
Tara has captured Mary’s daughter’s sunny smile with a practiced and playful hand. It is not just the subject’s smile that makes us smile, but all the light and space that has the painting breathe a deep breath with us.




Merit Award: Dennis Murnyak, Sunrise in the BWCA (photo right)
Dennis’ postcard image of the BWCA seems fleeting. What I like about it is its economy of line and its speed. It moves fast like a sunrise moves quickly into midday.



JamesMerit Award: John James, Stringing a Through-Ble Home (photo left)
John’s enigmatic image of domestic symbolism feels deftly crafted with an assured practiced hand. It is a delightful abstract image.




Judith Benhamart Award, Mary Nagel Klein, The Onion Bulb (photo right)
A delightful arrangement of three round objects, of new life, and of possibility. Mary Nagel Klein is a painter’s painter and breaths new life into the still life form.




NelsonHahnemuhle USA Award, Heidi Nelson, Out of Old (photo left)
Instead of showcasing her technical prowess in a full portrait- Heidi gives us partial tightly cropped images of three men’s faces as if they are fleeting memories. They are images of familiar people – as if they are our elders – our uncles and grandfathers photographed in the sun at a family reunion.

VaughanDillman’s Creative Art Workshops Award, Jan Vaughan, Bayfield (photo right)
Jan’s delicately painted view of the water through the birches is a hiker’s delight, and makes me want to be right there on that trail looking out over the water.


TurnerWet Paint Award: James Turner, Purple Throated Mountain Gem (photo left)
James’ hummingbird is exuberantly awash in color and blurred movement that attains mythic proportions and stirs our imagination with the vibration of its wings.



JefferyWet Paint Award: Robert Jeffery, Carousel Palace 1900 (photo right)
Robert’s technical precision and exhaustive detail make this documentary view of Carousel Palace 1900 a joy to explore with one’s eyes.

WagemanSchmincke Award: Jill Wageman, Waiting for the Vet (photo left)
Jill’s photorealistic painting deftly portrays canine anxiety and yearning for reassurance. The emotions of her dog are palpable.


WedgeHolbein Award, Kathryn Wedge, Through the Woods (photo right)
Kathryn’s daubs and strokes of bright colors powerfully evoke the feeling and experience of crisp air and warm sun of the PERFECT fall day in a hardwood forest.

LundstenArtworks Art and Frame Award, Rick Lundsten, Storm Warning (photo left)
Rick’s work is incredibly detailed, and meticulously illustrated. The lighthouse – a powerful beacon of many a maritime painting – is depicted in a way almost diminutive relative to the forces of nature. One wonders which is more powerful, the water, the rock or human technology.



BurtonArtist’s Choice Award: Erin Burton, Little Rascal (photo left)
Exquisitely and meticulously detailed, Erin’s little bird seems fresh from some mischief, and immediately forgiven for being so charming and adorable.

FengArtist’s Choice Award: Z Feng, Ranch For(e)man (photo right)
Z’s close up portrait reveals every highly trained brushstroke illustrating the weathered subject’s complexion and accurately demonstrates the personality of a man who may be close at hand, but his thoughts seem as distant as the horizon.





PalbickiThird Place: Christopher Palbicki, Search for Intelligent Life (photo left)
Christopher’s painting is displayed on its side creating a dizzying and disorienting image of someone in a space suit reaching for a bottle of water while a flock of boobies dive into the water around him or her. I found the image compelling for its complexity – there is a LOT going on here and a successful mixture of humor and doom. We laugh and feel warned at the same time.

KopeckySecond Place: May Ling Kopecky, Lunch Break at the Mayo Clinic
(photo right)
May’s painting of a man standing at a lunch counter awash with bright lights is also a lone hero. Perhaps he has a loved one in a hospital room. There are multiple reflective surfaces and intersecting geometries. There is literally a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. All of this energy and activated space beautifully contrasts the loneliness, fragility, and tenderness of the man in the center of the composition. The artist has also literally inserted her name into the work on the sign for coffee and on an artwork on the wall of the café.


Best in Show: David Belling, Iron Horse (below)
Mr. Belling’s meticulously rendered workhorse is nothing short of heroic. The old tractor is rendered largely in shadow – backlit by the sun to reveal negative spaces I found just as interesting as the subject itself.






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