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: