6th Annual Skies Best in Show Winners – November 2022

To contact these Best in Show artists directly for purchase inquiries or to see more of their work, please visit the 6th Annual Skies Art Exhibition page for contact information.

Congratulations again to the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.

Best in Show (Traditional) – Hunter Jay – “A MATTER OF FEELING” – acrylic on linen

“I’m intrigued by mystery and strive to capture this in anything I paint. My subject matter varies, but I invite the viewer to interpret a hidden element, which can be literal or thematic.”

Hunter Jay reveals the wonder of the hidden world around us. He focuses on the geometry of the composition; the way the elements are arranged on the canvas. Often he finds that this becomes more important than the actual subject matter. His work embraces an admiration of simplicity and evokes a contemplative and peaceful place.

An acrylic painter, Hunter credits his outlook largely to the 1940 Walt Disney animated film “Fantasia,” which he first saw as a child. The fantastical world on that screen impacted him. He found he was interested in the settings for the characters in the film more than the characters themselves. He wanted to live in the depths of that magical world.

To this day, that is what he captures on canvas. The mystery and the exotic qualities of his work make it identifiable, with saturated hues. You’ll see close-up views of botanic life, but the ocean and its refracted light seize his imagination as well. That childhood experience in the movie theatre continues to fascinate him to this day, and is why his colors are so intense, vibrant and saturated.

Largely self-taught as a fine artist, Hunter Jay has an innate sense of composition that aligns with his background in graphic design, contributing to the overall illustrative impact of his work.

To learn more about Hunter and to see more of his work, please visit his website.

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Mo Lin – “PINKY NIGHT” – digital art

I started painting since I was a kid in China. I learned a variety of painting techniques from after class art studios from elementary school to high school. But I couldn’t pursue the art path because my parents doubted the uncertainty of it. I went to engineering school then moved to US.

I picked up painting after graduate school in New York and sold a few pieces in random local markets. I currently live in LA and work on different types of arts in my spare time. I’m still trying to find my identity in painting so I’m doing a lot of experiments in my work.

I believe painting is the only path to show your own view of the world and how different objects reflect in your mind or wild dreams, as there’s no other way for the world to see it. I wish everybody could draw so the world could see billions of beautiful minds or weird ones. 

To learn  more about Mo and to see more of her work, please visit her Instagram.

Best in Show (3-Dimensional) – Karen Russo – “PEARLS OF WISDOM” – stoneware, underglaze, casein, acrylic

Karen Russo is a figurative sculptor who lives and works in the lush green foothills of western Oregon. She chooses clay as her primary medium because of its malleability, capacity for transformation, and direct connection to the earth.

As Karen sculpts, she allows each piece to unfold intuitively. The beauty of working in clay, is that she can continuously manipulate the form. It is a lively dance of adding and subtracting the material. Once the figure is established, it is cut into multiple sections, hollowed, compressed and reassembled. Karen then carves patterns and textures into the clay before it undergoes a slow bisque fire that can last a week or more. She uses underglazes, casein, and acrylic to lay imagery onto the surface. Her color palette echoes the places that inspire her; from the ocean to the forests, the desert to the mountains, of the extraordinary Pacific Northwest.

“In clay and paint, I work with paradoxical themes embodied in the maternal archetype and landscape. The resulting sculptures depict women that seem to originate from different geographical origins, but all of which explore the tensions of the feminine experience: strength and contemplation, hope and despair, vulnerability and resiliency. Through these ancestors so evocative of the precious earth from which they were formed, I hope to express an eternal optimism for the human spirit in this beautiful and turbulent world.”

To learn more about Karen and to see more of her work, please visit her website.


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