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March brings two new art exhibits to the RAL Art Center, 19 Main Street, Kilmarnock. The eighty-five original artworks in these two shows, “Weather or Not” and “Down Memory Lane,” include paintings, photography, fiber art, glass, and sculpture entered by member artists.

The shows were judged by award-winning abstract and figural artist, Theresa Wells Stifle, a former Falls Church gallery owner and curator. Theresa now lives in Hayes and chairs the Gloucester Arts Festival Studio Tour. Sharon Stone, the executive director of RAL Art Center, presented comments and awards for the two exhibits at the First Friday reception on March 3.

Theresa chose the oil painting “Perfect Day” by Sammy Anderson for first place in the show “Weather or Not.” Theresa said, “you can feel the wind on your face and the sun on your back.” Theresa also commented on the great angle of the pose, the high energy, and the use of texture and color in the work.

Second place went to “Dreaming of Spring Winds,” a watercolor painting by Carol Vaughn, “a delight of broad strokes and subtlety, an expansive, yet detailed work of art. The more you look, the more you see.” Third place went to “Summer Haze,” an oil and cold wax painting by Bonnie-Leigh Jones, a “wonderful use of media.” Theresa said that it was “elegant, yet compelling, a lovely combination of color and mood.”

Honorable mentions went to “The Tempest,” a watercolor by Ellen Huddy, “Cirrus Tide,” an acrylic painting by Ellen Werner, “Seamus in the Snow,” an oil painting by Suzanne Quel, “Out of the Fog,” a photograph by Kathleen Petersen, and “Bedazzled by Spring Bejeweled,” a glass mosaic with fused glass pieces by Laurie Breakwell.

Theresa selected “Shadows in Blue,” an oil painting by Patty Mochary for first place in the show “Down Memory Lane” because “the composition leads you right down memory lane.” Theresa commented that the strong lines and color choices are striking and impactful.

Second place was awarded to “Leaving Vietnam,” an oil painting by Suzanne Quel. Theresa said that the expression says it all. The painting has a “wonderful focus of pose and execution of subject.” Third place went to Terry Willis for her photograph “Black Voices,” commenting that the energy is palpable, the colors pop, and the moment is captured in the expressive pose.

Honorable mentions were awarded to “Elegant Tea Time,” a pastel by Mel Neale, “RAL Art Talks 10/15/2013,” a photograph by Mary Ellis, and “Memories of a Daffodil Farm,” an oil painting by Juli Schuszler.

These exhibits will remain on display until April 1. Gallery hours are 10 am to 4 pm Wednesday through Saturday.


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