Best in Show (Traditional) – Xiaoxia Chen - “Lotus” – watercolor on paper
Xiaoxia Chen is a Chinese watercolor artist.
Best in Show (Photography & Digital) - Merrilee Soberg - "Sunny Side Up" – digital art
After retiring from a successful career as a professional potter, Merrilee turned to photography and digital art to fill the creative void. She honed her digital art skills in Sebastian Michael's Photoshop Artistry online courses. As a result, she has been published in numerous editions of "Living the Photoartistic Life" magazine and was featured in the February 2020 edition. Many of the photos used in Merrilee's compositions were taken at home on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada or during her world travels. She is passionate about photographing wildlife in their natural habitat. Since she lives at the edge of a wetlands, many other elements of nature find their way into her artistic creations. These photos combined with digital painting are the building blocks used to create inspired, unique works of art, which can be beautiful, intriguing, moving and at times thought provoking. Magic occurs when nature and art align.
Best in Show (3 Dimensional) - Phyllis Mantik deQuevedo - “Forest Fountain” – bronze
Phyllis Mantik deQuevedo makes her home in Oklahoma City, OK. A native of Canada and a graduate of the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, Phyllis moved to the United States in 1981. She believes that her introduction to sculpture was by design. From early experiences of seeing an image take shape from a lump of clay, she has delighted in creating. Out of this personal joy, she realizes a responsibility; to create work that adds value to our existence, to evoke a smile; to touch someone’s heart and for a moment to capture an emotion. She sees the transforming experiences in life, such as tenderness, intimacy and spirituality as that which enables artistic growth and provides inspiration for her sculpture. To her, the most powerful art involves the human figure. The inspiration for her current figurative series is flora and focuses on representing botanical forms through metaphors as they relate to human forms and human experiences. Phyllis works in a design and marketing career along with her sculpture studies. She has been exhibiting and selling her artwork since 1991. Her sculptures are held in corporate and private collections throughout the United States and Canada.
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