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At the McKinney Center: Local artists’ work continues to sparkle

Best in Show went to to  Michelle O’Patrick-Ollis for her encaustic work, “Savannah.
Best in Show went to to Michelle O’Patrick-Ollis for her encaustic work, “Savannah.”


For McKinney Center Director Theresa Hammons, this year’s Open Juried Art Show may have been the most exciting one yet.
“I think it was one of our best,” Hammons said. “We had 113 submissions and more than 40 artists.
“That’s the most we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
More importantly, she said, “the artwork is fantastic.”
The show, which featured Mark Scala, chief curator of American art in the Frist Center in Nashville, as show juror, included everything from paintings, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, basketry, and photography to sculpture and mixed media.  All of the artists who submitted art for this competition were local.  Out of 113 submitted pieces, a total of 51 were chosen for the exhibition.
While each piece is remarkable, Scala’s final selections spotlight the best of the best, according to Hammons.
The awards included a Best in Show prize of $1,000 awarded to Michelle O’Patrick-Ollis for her encaustic, “Savannah,” followed by second place which went to Stephen Moles for his walnut and ash, “Gothic Desk” receiving $600 in award money. Third place was given to Bill & Tina Collison for their “In the Belly of the Beast,” wooden bowl, which was accompanied by $400.
Certificates of Merit were given to Travis Graves, Charles Jones, Mira Gerard, Mellen Shelton and Mary Nees.
“Michelle’s piece is very unassuming piece when you first look at it,” Hammons said of “Savannah.” “The juror said the detail was almost magical. You want to look in every crevices of the bark to see what you will find.
In Moles “Gothic Desk,” Scala “looked and looked for imperfections in the table and could not find a one.”
Finally, in third place, “In the Belly of the Beast,” shows a suprising delicacy. “The walls of that bowl are extremely thin. When the sun is setting in the evening, you can see the sun through the bowl.”
The Open Juried Art Show will be on display at the McKinney Center through May 7.  All artwork is also for sale, with a portion of the procceeds to benefit the McKinney Center.