6th Annual Black & White Best in Show Winners – February 2022

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

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

Best in Show (Traditional) – Maxwell Miller – “Self Portrait” – charcoal

Maxwell Miller began his artistic career in theatrical arts. Serving as director, artistic designer, and scenic artist for several Cleveland based theater organizations, he specialized in large scale theatrical puppetry. He began to pursue visual arts professionally in 2017 with a focus on imaginative realism. After refining his technique and developing an interest in mythology and history painting, he became an apprentice of Anthony Waichulis at the Ani Art Academy in January of 2020. He now strives to incorporate his sense of theatricality into the development of his artistic skill.

Maxwell’s website is www.maxwellgmiller.com          

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Shelley Benjamin – “Gold Dredge” – digital photography

Shelley Benjamin, a resident of southeast Florida, is an award winning digital artist. She has been published in “Living the Photo Artistic Life”, Somerset Digital Studio and “Awake Photography magazines. Her work has received Best in Show, and top 10 in the “Fusion Art” online gallery and top 10, Honorable, Mention and Special Merit in the Light Space and Time Gallery. She has exhibited in group shows at the Louvre, the Cornell Museum, and Grounds for Sculpture.

Shelley received a BS in Textile Design from Cornell University. After a career as a textile designer and weaver, she became interested in mixed media, and ultimately, photography. Shelley’s experimentation and involvement with digital photography began after she purchased her first DSLR camera. During the learning process, she joined an international group of digital artists. With the advanced training she was able to develop her skills, which has allowed her to transform her images to reflect her vision. The inspiration from the group opened up the possibilities of taking photos into a new realm.

Shelley is motivated by the art she sees in museums and galleries. From the time she was young she has always been an avid museum visitor. Her background in weaving exposed her to the art of fine crafts and the masters in those fields. Shelley uses her photos as the foundation for a digital painterly approach, utilizing modern technology to enhance and transform the original image. Drawing upon her textile design background, she imparts a tactile feeling to her work. She is inspired by color, reflections, light, the changing seasons, nature and architectural elements.

Shelley is always searching for extraordinary visual imagery in very ordinary environments. She states that her goal is to share the beauty around her and impart the uplifting feelings to the viewer that are the source of her inspiration.

Shelley’s website is www.shelleybenjamin.com

Best in Show (3 Dimensional) – Péter Borkovics – “Rotating Square 3” – fused and ground glass

I first became interested in the fact that glass is liquid. Any object made of glass goes through different machines, techniques, and professional tricks until it reaches its final stage. During the time I was leaving high school, I was interested in wire glass – how the framework grabs this type of glass when it is deformed and leaves an exciting flow behind.

My previous glass pieces were organic forms or tracery. My geometrical, striped blocks are simple prisms from outside. The shapes get more hectic inside, appearing as if I have turned them inside out. The colorful glass sheets are melted and the inside colors and shapes are formed by the heat. The continuous, parallel stripes symbolize the harmony of nature and the eternal circle of time. This is where we were born; we are part of it. The circular or rectangular frame in the middle expresses the human presence; the exact thinking. Rotating these circles and squares shows the ever changing civilization and the ways in which we think. The struggles of time we fill with our lives, the lived moments, and the tiny speck of dust in the eternal and inconceivable universe. It is like a stone which is thrown into water, man is born, and something has changed.

Both types of shaping require different types of people. The cold shaping needs calmer, reflective, consequent personality and suggests unlimited time. The hot one is fire itself. It is virtuoso, energetic, experienced, forward thinking, and sensitive, improvising, transforming, and alive. I deal with the union of these two types. The creative spark of the hot glass is brought together with the cleanness, transparency, and play of light that the cold glass encompasses. It originated as a stroke of genius, matures in the atmosphere of inspiration and we finish it as an experienced master, as it is worth doing in our own aesthetic culture. It can only be attained with the forces of love and humility. It is very exciting!

Péter’s website is www.borkovics.hu


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