The Brush With Burden Juried Art Exhibition and Sale announced the winners of its 2015 show at an open house and artists’ reception March 21, said Margaret Blades, who chairs the art show, along with Connie Abboud.
This fundraiser for the Burden Horticultural Society, in its fifth year, is the brainchild of Jinnie Bolin, Blades said, who had a vision of combining the arts with the natural resources and beauty of Louisiana.
For the first time this year, the juried art show implemented an online submission system, Blades said, which not only opened up the field for entries nationwide, but also took a considerable amount of work off the shoulders of her volunteers.
“We got 307 entries from all over the country — California, Wisconsin, Texas and all over Louisiana,” Blades said.
The judges selected 85 paintings, 49 photos and seven sculptures for the show.
Proceeds support the LSU Agricultural Center’s Botanic Gardens at Burden, Blades said.
Overall winners in the art category were:
First place: “Connected,” Cheri Fry
Second: “After the Rain,” Dawn Koetting
Third: “Moonscape,” Arthur McViccar
Honorable Mention: “Spring,” Wendy Hazey
Elizabethan Gallery Merit Award, $100: “Burning the Fields,” William McInnis
Co-op Book Store Merit Award, $50: “Street View,” Andrea Kostyal
Acadian Framing Merit Award, $40: “Dinner at Antoine’s,” Betsy Neely
Blick Art Supply Merit Award, $50: “Walk Tall and Carry a Big Stick,” Jane Flowers
Co-op Book Store Merit Award, $25: “Radial Symmetry,” Marge Campane.
Overall winners in the photography category were:
First Place: “Quiet Beauty,” Dede Lusk
Second: “Cotton Pickin,” Donna Futrell
Third: “Taking Flight,” Cathy Smart
Honorable Mention: “New Orleans Street Car,” Sheldon Anders
Renaissance Imagining Merit Award, $100: “Foot Happy Trio,” Steven Sotile
Daryl & Sons Merit Award, $50: “Heartwood Pond,” Ellen Case
Acadian Framing Merit Award, $40: “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” Butch Spelman
Acadian Framing Merit Award, $40: “Mardi Gras Riders,” David Howell
Co-op Book Store Merit Award, $25: “Morning Sunrise,” Randy Roussel.
All of the works will be available for viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The best of show in each category will be on display through April.
This year’s theme was “The Nature and Culture of Louisiana.”
Included in the exhibit is art from Mid-City resident Beth Neely.
Neely is exhibiting “Dinner at Antoine’s,” “Onions and Shallots” and “Onions, Shallots and Mirlitons.”
Neely, who works for the AgCenter, prefers to work from life, but if she has to, photos will do.
One of her paintings was taken from a photo she took at her first visit to Antoine’s. “We had one of everything, I think,” Neely said.
People and figures in space are her favorite subjects, she said, and when she looked up from a sumptuous meal and saw the place with her artist’s eye, she started snapping pictures for inspiration.
“I like to paint beautiful shapes,” Neely said, and if it happens to involve food, all the better. “You know how it is here. When you’re eating lunch, you’re talking about what you’re going to eat for dinner.”
Joseph Turpin, another Mid-City artist, is exhibiting “Humid” and “Capital City.”
Turpin is in his final year as an art student at LSU, and has been painting and drawing since he can remember.
“When I was a kid, it was Pokémon and cartoons, but now it’s more local rappers,” he said, adding that his senior art show is coming up April 30 at the Lobby Cafe, where he will be painting live.
Turpin grew up in Baton Rouge, and his work has been influenced by the city’s diverse culture. He chose “Humid” to submit to the show, he said, because of its swampy appeal. “Because I was born here, I think Louisiana always shows up in my work in some way.”
Artist Steven Sotile’s exhibit includes “Breaux Bridge Saturday Morning,” “Foot Happy Trio,” “Reflections on University Lake” and “Rollin’ on the River.”
Though a scientist by trade, photography has been a passion for Sotile since he was an eighth-grader at Ascension Catholic School in Donaldsonville, where a science teacher who was dismantling his own darkroom gave his equipment to Sotile.
Ever since, he’s been hooked, he said, and his hobby has informed his work, to a degree. “I’m a radiologist, so that’s very visual, very black and white,” he said.
He captured “Breaux Bridge Saturday Morning” at Cafe Des Amis in Breaux Bridge, where bands play live zydeco every Saturday.
Sotile says he never travels specifically to take photos, but he does try to have a camera with him most of the time.
Jane Flowers, who lives in southeast Baton Rouge, is showing “Walk Tall and Carry a Big Stick,” “Takin’ the Shortcut” and “November Sugar Smoke.”
Flowers’ favorite weekend activity is taking long drives to rural places, looking for beauty and inspiration. It was on one of these drives that she saw what would later become “Walk Tall,” a painting of a dog walking along a road with a stick that looks more like a limb in his mouth.
“I was driving somewhere around St. Francisville, I think, down a gravel road, when I saw this dog making his way down the road with this huge stick. It was so big, he would kind of list to the side, then right himself. I pulled over, grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures. I was able to get in a few shots before he passed me. He was smiling, and you could tell he was so proud of himself.”
Flowers said he didn’t pause to greet her or growl, but was on a mission to get that stick somewhere.
She shot “November Sugar Smoke,” the only photograph she has ever submitted to a competition, somewhere between Napoleonville and Donaldsonville.