Florida Sculptors Guild – Awards and Comments

Awards and Comments:

First Place – Cheryl Bogdanowitsch, “Bird Watching” 

            Cheryl’s wood sculpture immediately engages the viewer; who is watching who, and what is their relationship?  Has the bird just arrived, or is it about to be set free?  We would love to be privy to the conversation. 

            The work shows Cheryl’s skill in working with natural materials, and she enhances them in a way that propels them forward into an artistic creation, yet still respects their natural characteristics.   We know that it is wood, but we are willing to suspend reality and believe that the figure and the bird are actual denizens of the forest.

            Cheryl has thoughtfully selected wood that forms a lithe and graceful elongated tree figure, balanced by the spreading of the branches from the base.  The carving on the face of the figure, and the little bird, make them both appealing and relatable.  The treatment of the hands of the tree figure is especially sensitive. 

            Cheryl has demonstrated confidence in her skills in creating a work that draws us in and invites us to consider the fragility of this thing called “Nature”, thus combining the best of technique and concept in a work deserving of the top award. 

Second Place – Jack Hill, “A Lucky Shot” 

            On viewing Jack’s bronze sculpture, the viewer immediately wonders who the target of the lucky shot might be, and why.  Is there a reference to the David and Goliath?  Perhaps, but that remains a question.  The symbolism of the wishbone is significant, because how will the shooter feel if he doesn’t get his wish? 

            Jack is clearly working with bronze at an advanced level; the figure shows an attention to detail, and the viewer can feel the tension in the musculature of the shooter’s arms and legs.  Although they are metal, the wishbone reads as “bone” and the straps read as “leather”.  The composition is strengthened by the triangles created by the wishbone and the straps, and there are interesting negative shapes throughout.  The subtle variations of color are also noteworthy. 

            The work combines knowledge of the human form,  impeccable technique, and a visual treat for the viewer, and is worthy of recognition. 

Third Place – Maria Santana, “Glyptria” 

            We want to know right away what the figure in Maria’s clay piece is making.  Is she adding to her headdress,  or pulling pieces from it?  Her laser-like focus on her hands is something we can appreciate, because haven’t we all been in that “zone” when creating our art? 

            The figure itself is subtly toned and features sensitive markings, which contrast nicely with the variety of color, surface treatment  and pattern in the headdress.  We also see a nice variety of size in the components that make up the headdress.  The hands are beautifully formed and show a respect for anatomy. 

            The fact that the hands are separated from the main figure is especially significant; similar to a “lost edge” in painting, the disconnect invites the viewer to become engaged and fill in the blank space.  Additionally, the separate pieces create a triangle that keeps the eye moving. 

            Maria combines her knowledge of technique and materials with color and pattern and has created an intriguing piece that merits recognition. 

Fourth Place – Art League Award – Suzanne Oberholtzer, “Seaglass Waves” 

            We were happy to be able to add and sponsor an “Art League Award” to the list, as we felt that this piece also deserved recognition. 

            Suzanne’s piece, in contrast to the other selections, is not so much a narrative as a fascinating mystery, almost like a zen koan.  The question raised is, how did she come to make the connection between waves and paper forms? 

            Anyone who lives near the beach in Florida, or has painted waves, knows the structure and anatomy of breaking and rolling waves, and these paper forms capture that movement perfectly.  Although a static sculpture, the piece implies movement, and fascinates the eye from every angle. 

            The coloration of the papers reference the way that waves change as they pass through the light at various stages.  As with the wood in Cheryl’s piece, we know that it is paper, but we are perfectly willing to accept the shapes as water. 

            Suzanne demonstrates a truly creative approach to using paper as a material for sculpture, and the piece merits affirmation. 

Judged by Robin Moore and Connie Krzyzowski

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