65th Annual Member’s Show

Nature’s Fair Walk, by Ann Eifler

The 65th Annual Aurora Art League Member’s Show was a great success!

It was held Friday, September 1, through Saturday September 2, 2023 at the Santori Aurora Public Library, 101 S. River Street, Aurora, IL

The live music at the Artist’s Reception, held of Friday evening, was again provided by John Papadolius.

37 artists participated, displaying 98 pieces, and our judge this year was Rafael Rocha.

This year’s winners with our judge’s comments:

Best of Show, Bonnie Vargus, “Nature’s Canvas” oil, The use of color to set the mood of the setting and rising sun is fantastic. There is a great sense of depth to image with the pull of the horizon line. The thick application of paint underneath the clouds greatly adds further dimension and depth. The color transition from yellow to blue in the sky truly adds visual interest and holds the viewer’s attention. Wonderful piece.

Best Digital, Mary Rodriguez,“Edgewater in Seattle”, photo on metal. Wonderful composition. Really captured the mood of the time of day. The light reflection on the water pulls viewer’s eyes into the bottom of the composition, great for a viewer to visually wander around the image.

1st Place and People’s Choice: Julie Vander Meulen, “Camouflage” soft pastel. Great use of realism to the subject. The directional application of media does a great job at highlighting for texture. The eyes have a special sense of gravity with the shiny reflection of pupils. The foggy background provides a sense of rest for the eye, and lets the subject shine.

1st Place, Cath Carroll, “Find Your Way on 30th Street”, oil. The play of shadows on the sidewalk do a great job at creating visual interest. There is a good deal of reference to the time of day with colors and values used on buildings. The texture and materiality of subject is also well depicted with media, application and color use.

1st Place, Ann Eifler “Prairie Path” oil and cold wax. Great choice of wide panel format to highlight the expanse of landscape. The paint application does a great job at creating dimension, as well as highlighting the play of media. There is a great balance between warm and cool tones that lets the viewer travel through the work in a playful way.

1st Place Digital, Victor Von Ehr “Frog”. Wonderful capture of array of colors on leaves. The frog does a great job of camouflage into the composition. Greatly enjoy the warm touches of leaves to highlight the cool color dominance of image.

2nd Place Tara Ginocchio “Unbecoming Ill”, acrylic, oil, cold wax.  The texture and heavy media application greatly strengthen the composition. Enjoy the play of geometric subject matter, and the contract between warm and cool colors. There’s is a great sense of depth to the image with the transition of values within subjects. The framing/presentation does a great job at letting one piece speak to the viewer.

2nd Place, Jen Hunger, “Valley of Fire State Park”, oil and cold wax. The highlights and shadows do a wonderful job of creating depth. There is a sense of fun play with the application of media that is visible throughout the entire composition. Really appreciate the abstract approach to the shrubbery, as it goes from foreground on right, to background on left. The play of warm tones on rocks and cool tones and sky are merged well with the subtle violet tones in the landscape.

2nd Place, Mary Shoemaker “Red Ball”, clay monoprint. The play with the colors in the composition are rich and visually engaging. There is a great sense of visual energy with the play of mark making and color use. Appreciated the areas of rich color saturation combined with transparent areas.

2nd Place Digital, Barb Gore, “Arrowleaf Balsamroot” The grouping of the flowers are well positioned within the picture. The yellow flowers give great reference to the sunlight hitting them. The out of focus foliage in the background lets the yellow flowers really become the focal point.

3rd Place, Helen Ratzlow “Butterfly 10”3rd Place, Dale Dobies “Butterflies are Forever” mixed media. The abstracted subject is well highlighted by the media application. The dominance of cool tones is balanced by the red outline of the subject. Overall the piece has a great sense of minimalism that highlights ideals of contemporary art.

3rd Place, Dale Dobies “Butterflies are Forever”, glass mosaic. The subject is well framed within the composition. The background does a great job of creating dimension with the shifting value and shapes. The reflective pieces within the butterfly add an extra touch of visual play to the piece.

3rd Place, Mary Anne Cummings “Fairy Staircase”, soft pastel. The play of light within the piece create strong visual movement throughout the composition. The play with media is strong with contrast of direct subject depictions well as abstracted expressionistic references to subjects. Very strong composition with push of depth and dimension. 

3rd Place Digital, John Stark, “Two Sisters with Mom” The composition has a great sense of narrative with the grouping of people. The figure to the right balances the heavy directional weight, the two central figures give the composition. There is great contrast in the mixture of values giving the images interesting, visual presence.

Congratulations to everyone on a fine show, featuring so many types of media. 

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