A warm spring evening brought out a crowd to view the Gaithersburg Fine Arts Association’s 33rd Juried Art Show at the Kentlands Mansion. Juror Jean Hirons, a celebrated pastelist, author of “Finding Your Style in Pastel” and instructor at Artists & Makers Studios in Rockville, said she brought her own perspective to the show—subjective and aiming for balance and excellence in composition, color and technique while attempting to put aside what she may personally favor.
Well-known local artist Bill Mapes’ “Joshua” as Best in Show did not disappoint. It is a pensive yet energetic portrait of a young man with meticulous detail and shading. “It was a challenge,” Mapes said, “to push color—use colors more adventurously to bring out energy.” The portrait was done at the Hood College Portrait Group, and Joshua is a model in his mid-20s from a local theater group.
Montgomery Village artist Linda Slattery-Sherman’s abstracts always impress. There are three in the show with the mixed media collage “I Found Myself in a Boat in the Forest” winning First Place in the category. “I came up with the title after I completed it,” Sherman revealed. “Working freely with line, form, texture and composition is my first priority … subject and title often come later in the process.” The larger “Tornado #1” (Honorable Mention Watermedia) and “Iguana #1” are exploding with movement and color. “My art is abstract, but often includes a visual twist that gives it a little mystery,” she said. “‘Iguana #1’ is part of the Galapagos series I did in response to a trip to those World Heritage site islands. It has a recognizable eye and textures that resemble scales. The colors in the piece refer to the animal itself and to water, but nowhere do you see a complete representation of the animal. ‘Tornado #1’ is named for the swirling orange lines and shapes on a black background.”
Others of particular note are Benita Kane Jaro’s “Fence, Mist and Roses” (Honorable Mention Oil & Acrylic), an ethereal garden of shadow and light; Betsy Kimball Baden’s “Sunflower” (Honorable Mention Mixed Media) and “Onions in Reflection,” smaller but nonetheless powerful with detail and hue; Noelie Angevine’s “Bahama Skies”; Virginia Chandler’s “The Traveler”; and Jeanne Powell’s “Venice Memory.”
Incoming President Sandra Fretwell remarked on the show and discussed plans for the group’s upcoming season. Bob Maarsen, who will be assuming the Show Chair role for the coming year, exhibited two of his watercolors, “Bicycles” and “Trees” (Honorable Mention Watermedia).
The show runs at the Kentlands Mansion through July 7. Call ahead 301.258.6425 to be sure the mansion is open.