TOPEKA -- SouthWind Gallery and Gary Blitsch are kicking off the city’s First Friday Art Walk and the long holiday weekend with the public opening of a huge show featuring 150 artworks by 80 artists. Opening activities include an Artists’ Reception from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the gallery, which you'll find at 3074 SW 29th, in Topeka.
The 150 pieces of art were selected from hundreds of entries received by SouthWind Gallery for its juried competition titled, The Kansas-150 Art Competition. SouthWind Gallery joined “Savor Kansas”, a statewide grassroots effort that celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Kansas Statehood, and showcases the arts and culture of the state. The exhibit includes original paintings and fine-art photography. All mediums and styles of two-dimensional art are represented in this show. Artists were required to use “Kansas” as their subject in some way, whether it be landscape, architecture, people, indigenous animals or plant life.
SouthWind Gallery enlisted the expertise of two distinguished individuals to serve as jurors for the competition. They are: Neil Patterson, OPAM, President of the Oil Painters of America, and Kristin Hoerth, Executive Editor, Southwest Art Magazine.
Monetary prizes were awarded to the top three winning artists. Those artists are:
1st Place, Cally Krallman,$1,000 Award; 2nd Place, Nancy Whitaker, $750 Award; and 3rd Place, Doug Frye, $500 Award. Other non-monetary honors went to: Ann Palmer, Honorable Mention, Ron Beeton, Ms. Hoerth’s Judges Choice, Michelle Usibelli, Mr. Patterson’s Judges Choice, and Jim Clements, People of the SouthWind Award.
SouthWind Gallery also is publishing an art book titled, “State of the Art: Kansas” that includes all 150 artworks, as well as photos and brief bios of each of the 80 artists. First Friday art Walk guests will have the opportunity to pre-order the book, which will available at the end of July.