Prairie Village’s annual arts competition got 450 submissions this year — here are the winners

The Prairie Village Arts Council recently announced its 2020 State of the Arts Winners, including Grace Roberts' "The Secret Garden." Roberts' colored pencil drawing won best of show with a $1,000 prize. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

The Prairie Village Arts Council has announced the 2020 State of the Arts winners.

For the last 13 years, State of the Arts has served as the council’s premiere art show of the year. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic brought on some challenges to navigate.

Al Guarino, a Prairie Village arts councilmember, said the R.G. Endres Gallery at City Hall is closed due to COVID-19, meaning a reception for the show couldn’t be held and the artwork couldn’t be publicly displayed. Instead, the Prairie Village Arts Council took the annual show and did it entirely online.

“Our juror, rather than looking at the actual piece of art, had to work with images of the art,” Guarino said. “We were able to still do the celebration, we’re very proud of what we accomplished.”

Grace Roberts won best in show for her colored pencil piece entitled ‘The Secret Garden,’ (featured at the top of this post) while the People’s Choice award went to Roland Escalona’s colored pencil, pen and ink drawing entitled, ‘Close Quarters.’

Overall, there were 450 submissions from local, national and international artists. The show’s juror Lori Phillips, a painter and mixed media artist based in Hawaii, had to narrow the entries down to 75.

Phillips told the city’s newsletter, The Village Voice, that she looks for artistic merit that includes ambition, an avoidance of clichés, as well as developing artistic and creative maturity, among other qualities. An in-depth look at how Phillips chose the winners can be found online here.

She then narrowed the 75 finalists down to eight award-winning pieces, six of which (plus the people’s choice award) can be viewed below:

People’s Choice

Roland Escalona’s “Close Quarters V” won the people’s choice award, and a $500 prize. Escalona used pen and ink as well as colored pencils for the above drawing on paper. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

Merit Awards

Gerald Huber’s “Reflections I” won a merit award with a $750 prize. Huber used acrylic on panel for the above painting. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

 

Debra Payne’s “Four Black Hats” won a merit award with a $750 prize. Payne used oil for the above painting. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

Honorable mentions

Dan Morro’s “Confined Gloaming” won an honorable mention with a $100 prize. Morro used colored pencil on panel for the above drawing. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

 

Leslie Jusino’s “celeste” won an honorable mention with a $100 award. Jusino used acrylic, gold leaf and resin for the above piece of artwork. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

 

Emily Gomez’s “Let’s Be Blunt” won an honorable mention with a $100 prize. Gomez used Swisher Sweet packaging, ribbon, drawer liner and wire to make the piece of artwork shown above. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

 

Sue Godwin’s “Ascending to New Heights” won an honorable mention with a $100 prize. Godwin used acrylic on gallery wrap canvas for the above painting. Image courtesy Al Guarino.

 

Cheryl Caro’s “NightLight” won an honorable mention with a $100 prize. Caro used 100 colored pencils for the above drawing. Image courtesy Al Guarino.