Art show winners declared

Published 12:19 pm Monday, May 10, 2010

Any artist with the skill to make unique and puzzling a commonitem from the rural trappings of Southwest Mississippi would surelywin an arts competition.

And so it was with the second annual Lincoln County Art Show,where Mississippi School of the Arts instructor Roberto Bonillaclaimed the ribbon for Best in Show with a rich pastel that broughtgourds to life.

“I just found it interesting because it had so many differenttextures,” he said Saturday afternoon after claiming the top awardat a reception at the Lincoln County Public Library. “I’m attractedto organic forms.”

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Bonilla’s pastel features a pair of bulbous gourds overlappingin soft, mute color atop a flowing background. He created thedrawing as a demonstration to his advanced drawing and paintingclass at MSA, with his students drawing along on their own gourdpieces. The drawing was intended to teach monumentalization,layering information into the art and bringing small items to lifein large print.

The lone judge, Mississippi College’s Dr. Stephanie Busbea,remarked that all of Bonilla’s strokes were perfect and pinned hisdrawing with the top ribbon. It will be on display in the libraryalong with the 108 other photographs, paintings and abstract artsubmitted to the competition throughout the month of May.

But Bonilla shrugged off praise for his work Saturday, sayingthe real reward is in the work, not the finished product.

“Creating art is not about winning a contest, it’s about theprocess,” he said. “You do it because you enjoy it, and in the endyou’re the one who looks at it and is happy with it. It’s nice towin, but it’s the process that’s important.”

Donna Arbelle, art show chairman for the Brookhaven Trust’s FineArts Council, said the quality of this year’s art entries was upover last year’s inaugural show, but the quantity was down. Lastyear around 70 artists submitted close to 200 pieces of art, whilethis year only 50 creators brought in 109 pieces. She said the dropin participation could have been due to bad weather on art check-inday last Saturday.

Regardless, the art show is moving on and will return for athird time in 2011, Arbelle said.

“The art show is important for the community and important forthe human spirit,” she said. “It’s important to honor people wholook for beauty in the world and try to bring it to others.”

Bonilla wasn’t the only winner in this year’s art show.

In the oil and acrylic category, MSA student Harley Hollensteintook first place for his self portrait, “Harley Hollenstein.”Brookhaven’s Janet Smith claimed top spot in the watermediacategory for her “Mountain Fishing.”

McCall Creek’s Melba Jones was awarded first place in thepastels and drawings category with “Beach Baby.” The category hadthe highest number of placements, with first, second and thirdspots alongside four honorable mentions.

In photography, McComb’s Thomas Morgan won first place for hispicture “Train Brake,” while Brookhaven’s Caroline Kluge wasawarded first in mixed media for “Giant of the Deep.”

The contest’s artwork is for sale throughout this month’sdisplay.