7th Annual Landscapes Best in Show Winners – May 2022

To contact these Best in Show artists directly for purchase inquiries or to see more of their work, please visit the 7th Annual Landscapes Exhibition page for contact information.

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

Best in Show (Traditional) – John Shimmin – “Colorado River at the Grand Canyon” – watercolor

I studied art at Kent State university, mentored by Internationally acclaimed artist Larry Quackenbush. Through his teaching I learned watercolor, taking a total of five first places in painting my sophomore year a second place in the portfolio competition, and a third in drawing. After Mr. Quackenbush had passed away I transferred to Michigan State University where I majored in Anthropology and Art History where I graduated Magna Cum Laude.

As a graduate student in field archaeology, I branched out and designed museum displays and illustrations for both the Mackinac Island State Park and private museums. As part of my graduate work, I authored an academic paper detailing Pythagoras’ method of designing Greek Doric Temples and presented it at Archaeological Institute of America convention in San Antonio, Texas.

After graduation I moved to Colorado where I worked for Gold Fields Mining Corporation drawing maps and charts. During those years at Gold Fields, I taught night classes in computer applications at Red Rocks CC and Denver University.

After leaving Gold Fields, I worked for US West designing interactive applications. At one of US West’s art competition, I took first place, and again, second place the successive year. In August 2018, I received Honorable Mention for a watercolor at Fusion Art’s International 3rd Annual “Artist’s Choice” competition (fusionartps.com).

To see more of his work, John can be reached via his Email.

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Daniel Forster – “Bright Autumn” – photography

Daniel is a Fine Art Photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He took the long road to finding his home in Colorado. He grew up in California and Oregon. Then he raised a family in Arizona and Texas, and finally making his home in Colorado.

In grade school, he spent many afternoons exploring the old growth redwood forests and creeks in California. In high school, you could find him in the forests, beaches or mountains of Oregon. He has always had a drive and passion to explore and experience the natural world around us.

Daniel also has a passion to create. That passion has led him down many creative journeys. A few years ago, he picked up a digital camera and hasn’t looked back. The merging his passion to create and exploring nature has become a perfect outlet for creating and sharing his passion with others.

To see more of his work, visit Daniel’s website.

Best in Show (3 Dimensional) – Karen Russo – “Listen to My Heart” – ceramic sculpture

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. Similar to a stone sculptor, she begins by carving away from a solid block. 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. The sculpture is then hollowed, compressed and reassembled. 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 see more of her work, visit Karen’s website.


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