Sunday, September 28, 2008

WRAP State Day, Madison

Yesterday I attended the State Conference of the Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP), held on the UW Madison campus.  The program was established to encourage Wisconsin citizens with a serious interest in art, the folks who make art primarily for the love of it, rather than primarily to sell for profit.  The organization sponsors workshops throughout the state, and work that is chosen as having special merit at those workshops is eligible for a show and some awards at the State Conference.  There are a number of awards.  The photo above shows past recipients of the prestigious John Steuart Curry award, given to a person who has made great contributions to the arts, and to the WRAP organization.  Curry, who was an artist in residence at UW Madison, organized the first Rural Art Exhibit at the Memorial Union in Madison in 1940.  Today artists in the program come from both rural and urban backgrounds, though all are nonprofessional.

The day was pleasant.  Each of us received a color catalog of the works in the 2008 show, which was the best I have ever seen.  We had time to sip coffee and look at the whole exhibit of works chosen, and we could see which paintings, photographs, sculptures were recognized by this year's juror, painter Jeb Prazak.  Prazak showed us slides of  some of her own paintings, and gave the assembled group some advice:  be careful to mat your work simply; put heart into your art, and work for yourself, not for other people.  She also commented individually on works singled out for awards; one was mine.  

Here was my entry, a watercolor I called, with brilliant originality,
Two Lemons.  It's big for me, half a sheet.  I took this photo before I added a shadow under the bowl, a detail that nearly gave me a heart attack.  Some of the moisture in the dark shadow began to lift the terra cotta color of the background.  I just stopped and hoped for the best.  When I finally got the painting framed I was happy, felt it was one of my best pieces ever.  I was so proud that I entered a WRAP show in Janesville, confident that the juror would like it too.  No such luck, not even an honorable mention.  I have to admit I felt snubbed.  I entered it in a different show later in the season and it was chosen.  I know, we shouldn't paint for awards or the praise of others.  Still, I felt validated that other people liked my painting.  My head isn't too swollen yet though.  The juror's comment was that while this was a very common subject, it was done well. Why, thank you!

Here's a link to an article from Portal Wisconsin about the day.  The speaker was changed, however. 


Betty said...

Your "Two Lemons" are absolutely sensational!!

JoAnn said...

What a wonderful painting. And I know how difficult it is to make something look that good. I love the way the colors of the bowl are reflected on the lemons.

Congrats on the well-deserved award.


Anonymous said...

I think this is exquisite. I love the Italian pottery bowl and the lemons are just perfect.

Teri C said...

BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!! So well deserved. It is beautiful.

Sharon said...

Congratulations for receiving an award for this beautiful painting, Sherry. It's one of my favorites.

Judybec said...

Congratulations on your lemons getting an award! I think the comment of it being a "common" subject is silly-- you took the common and made it beautifully uncommon.