4th Annual Skies Featured Artists & Best in Show Winners


Best in Show (Traditional) – Virginia Kamhi – “First Light, Malibu Lagoon” – pastel

Best in Show (Traditional) Virginia KamhiMuch as a poet uses words to express spirit, emotion, and beauty of thought, pastel artist Virginia Kamhi paints expressive realist paintings that convey the poetry, imaginative power, and rhythms of the natural wonders that surround her.

Growing up in Southern California, Kamhi spent many childhood hours roaming the hills around her home and many weekends bodysurfing in the ocean. These early memories perhaps influence her art, because California landscapes and seascapes are her preferred subjects.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Kamhi studied Fine Art at Academy of Art University. She has studied extensively with many eminent artists, among them Richard McKinley, Albert Handell, Lorenzo Chavez, Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Alain Picard, and Jacob Aguiar.

Kamhi is a member of the Pastel Society of America, the Pastel Society of the West Coast, the California Art Club, the Santa Barbara Art Association, SCAPE, and the Westlake Village Art Guild. She serves on the board of the Pastel Society of Southern California and the Allied Artists of the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore and is a frequent plein air demo artist for this organization. Her work has been juried into numerous local, national, and international shows and has received countless awards. It has been accepted in many museum exhibitions and is included in private collections across the United States and in Europe.

Although Kamhi also works in other media, pastels are her passion because of their tactile quality and unique ability to paint the visual poetry that nourishes her soul. She loves to hike in the local mountains and observe the essence of the sunlight, the complexity of form in the landscape, the interaction of light and shadow. She feels it is a privilege to closely observe what others fail to see in the course of their hurried lives.

To see more of Virginia’s work, please visit her website.  See the full Skies Exhibition HERE.

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Mildred Lai – “Look at You” – photography

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) Mildred LaiI am an amateur photographer living in Hong Kong. I am very passionate about photography – a world full of wonder, surprises and beauty.

I began to take photos as a hobby and learnt the basic knowledge and technique of taking photos by joining the local photo workshop. From novice to competence, I have practiced this interesting job with joy and surprises for a few years now.

People perceive images differently. Nevertheless, what you see through lens sometimes reflects with delight on the happiness of your thinking.

I like to capture beautiful objects with a click of a camera button. Can you imagine a picturesque landscape photo in long exposure would bring you to a wonderful world of misty scenery?

Currently, I am looking at simplicity in photography composition, and enjoy taking shots in B&W as well as long exposure. Photography brings me everlasting fun. Cheer for everybody.

To see more of Mildred’s work, please visit her Instagram. See the full Skies Exhibition HERE.


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