I just got back from Arizona, and I'm pleased to announce that my Portrait of Tess won First Place in the National Society of Arts and Letters' National Career Award Competition.
The contestants were Carrie Tompkins, Birmingham Chapter; Maureen Forman, Bloomington Chapter; Vanessa Monot, Boca Raton Chapter; Ryan Rocha, Central Illinois Chapter; Erin Saladino, Clearwater-Tampa Bay Chapter; Alfred Perez, El Paso Chapter; Tawni Shuler, Greater Arizona Chapter; Morgan Canavan, Greater Chicago Chapter; Danielle Trejo, Evanston Chapter; Will Anderson, Kansas City Chapter; Gerren Dugger, Kentucky Chapter; Amber Carraway, Little Rock Chapter; Adrian Lyjak, Mid-Michigan Chapter; Mattias Lanas, New Jersey Chapter; Kelsey Berkley, North Florida Chapter; Mark Bush, Ohio River Valley Chapter; Thommy Controy, Pittsburgh Chapter; Timothy Rusterholz, Virginia-North Carolina Chapter; and myself.
Alfred Perez received fifth prize, Tawni Shuler received fourth; Will Anderson received third; and Mark Bush received second.
This year's competition in water media was judged by M. Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief of American Artist magazine; artists Robert and Louise McCall; and Dr. Mel Yoakum, Director of the F. Gilot Archives. At the award banquet, Robert McCall was presented with the 2007 National Gold Medallion for his lifetime achievements. Mr. McCall is well known for his 6 story tall mural in the National Air and Space Museum, among many other career highlights.
On Friday, the other contestants and I were privileged to take part in a Master Class taught by Robert McCall and his wife, Louise McCall, who is known for her own vibrant work as well as her collaborative work with her husband. We watched a demonstration and received critiques and encouragement from the McCalls as we worked.
I sketched Mr. McCall as he worked, and he autographed the drawing.
An exhibition of the finalists' work is currently on display in the City Hall Gallery in Tempe, Arizona. The show will be traveling across the country over the coming months.