Monday, July 18, 2011
The first ever Lehigh Valley Art Wars has drawn to a close with last night's auction at Connexions Gallery. All of the art created during the competition was auctioned off to a live audience and I was super proud to see multiple bidders interested in my work. Each of the artists received 50% from the sale of their art and the other half is going to fund next year's competition. The show will be on display at Connexions until the end of August.
The competition started with 16 artists from all different parts of the Lehigh Valley. In the first round, we competed in groups of 4 using our own materials on an unknown canvas size and were presented with a theme only moments before we started. In each round, we had only 2 hours in which to create our masterpiece. Winners were determined by both a panel of judges and a crowd vote.
I was one of 8 contestants that moved into the 2nd round, the semi-finals of the event. In this round, we would be provided with unknown art supplies with which to create, as well as a canvas of unknown material. (And again, a theme only moments before we started.) My group was presented with a canvas of sheet metal, and the other group received wood.
I unfortunately did not make it into the finals but for the four who did, they were each given a $125 stipend with which to buy whatever materials they wanted to use to create their final masterpiece.
The finals were to take place at a local festival called Mayfair, and while they started to create in front of a crowd of about 600, torrential rain, thunderstorms and monsoon like conditions drove away most of the crowd and created a delay for the participants. They would eventually finish with Alexander Clare's Gunslinger taking the $1000.00 grand prize.
Would I do it again? Perhaps. But a part of me is looking beyond what I've already done and onto the next big thing- solo exhibits and gallery representation.
I am extra proud to announce that I myself am now the owner of my favorite piece in the competition- this piece below by the immensely talented Jessica Echevarria. Jess inspires me with her drive, determination and pure passion for her art. Seeing what she does makes me want to work even harder at what I do. I can't wait to hang it in my house. You can see more of Jess's work here.
Photo of Jess's round 1 painting by Elaine Zelker.