Artists put egos on the line

Eager art patrons milled about the Shelby County Arts Council gallery Sept. 3 taking in the talent of 28 artists who put their egos on the line in the council’s first juried art show.

Their eyes filled with color from pieces of photography, mixed media, watercolor, acrylics, oil, drawing and printmaking.

Mary Liz Ingram of Homewood walked away with the “Best of Show” prize.

Her piece “Rhythmic Shoreline” depicts waves of water rushing over rocks. The scene came from her memory of the Scottish coastline.

Ingram said she seeks to do things that make people feel peaceful and that bring a sense of stillness.

“I love how oceans give you that feeling because they keep coming in,” Ingram said.

Ingram found her love of art as a child.

Her grandmother introduced her to soft pastel portraits and she has since taught herself various techniques. She said she sticks to this medium because she feels she can best manipulate the materials.

Ingram’s other work is available through the Jennifer Harwell Gallery in Homewood and online at Marylizingramart.com. This was Ingram’s first juried art show.

Arts Council Arts and Education Director Susan Dennis said she was happy to see so many artists.

“I thought we had a great turnout,” Dennis said. “We ran out of food everyone was enjoying themselves so much. If all the artists were happy then we are happy.”

Even the artists who didn’t place seemed please with the event. Michele Waller of Alabaster entered several oil paintings.

“I think its great that they’ve got this kind of event and I can’t wait for them to do it again next year,” Waller said.

Other winners included: Best of Oil Paintings – Liliane Nublat for “Boats at Rest,” honorable mention went to Kristin Martin for “Highland Tree”; Best of Mixed Media – Debra Warnat for “Octaminis,” honorable mention went to Allison Cleveland for “Blender”; Best of Acrylics – Edna Sealy for “Colors of My World,” honorable mention went to Shirley Northcutt for “Cattail”; Best of Photography – Kim Bouler for “Concrete Color,” honorable mention went to John B. Shadrick for “Reflection”; Best of Watercolor – Barbara Prior for “Too Many To Count,” honorable mention went to Patricia Smith for “Shadows in Play”; Best of Drawing – Deanne Thorn for “Gus”; Best of Printmaking – Debra Riffe for “Peaches,” and honorable mention went to Neely Vardaman for “Jellyfish.”

University of Montevallo professor Scott Stephens judged the event. Pieces from the show will remain on exhibit at the arts council through the end of September. In October, the work will move to the Regions Bank in Greystone and in November it will be on display at the new Alabama Power building in Calera.