Art Winners Named, Founders Honored at VVAA Reception

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Winners of the June “Face to Face” art competition at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery have been named.  Virgin Valley Artists Association presents a themed exhibition each month of the summer, with June’s topic emphasizing portraiture. Bank of Nevada is sponsor of the show that runs through June 27.

VVAA founder Randy McArthur accepts plaque from current president Jean Wiensch. Photo by Linda Faas.

VVAA founder Randy McArthur accepts plaque from current president Jean Wiensch. Photo by Linda Faas.

VVAA President, Jean Wiensch, presented awards to the entries that were chosen by judges, the public, and the sponsor as outstanding examples of original art.  Floyd Johnson’s “Weathered,”a profile portrait, stood out as double winner in the field of over 40 entries.  Floyd won the Best of Show cash prize of $100 for his work, and was chosen by gallery visitors as their “People’s Choice” winner.  Also placing in the money, were Blue Ribbon winner Geraldine Zarate, ($50) for “Eye to Eye,” Kathleen Ludwig, Red Ribbon, ($30), for her alluring “Facing the Night,” and ceramic artist Judith Hetem, ($20) White Ribbon winner, for her cunning sculpture, “Shh!” of sleeping squirrels in their nest.  Honorable Mention Ribbons went to:  Rita Fulmer, “Train Ride to Santa Barbara;”  Roger Tarleton, “Heart to Heart;”  Emmett Gibson, “Love Dance;”  David Boyarski,” Before the Lick;” Walt Alder, “Baby Raccoons,”   and Bunny Wiseman, “Nose to Nose.” Wiseman also captured the Sponsor’s Choice award for her graphite drawing.

Walt Alder's photo, Baby Raccoons, earned Honorable Mention. Photo by Linda Faas.

Walt Alder’s photo, Baby Raccoons, earned Honorable Mention. Photo by Linda Faas.

The Bank of Nevada not only provides financial support to the gallery for a yearly exhibition, but also provides wall space in its lobby for VVAA artwork.  The display allows bank visitors to see the fine original art work done by local artists, and gives VVAA an opportunity to reach those who may not visit the gallery on a regular basis.

Virgin Valley Artists Association was formed in the late ‘90s by a group of visual artists who hoped to promote visual art education and display opportunities in the valley.   Several of those founders attended the June 18 reception, and were recognized by the organization for their role in the cultural growth of Mesquite.  A plaque bearing the founders’ names will be hung in the gallery to honor them for their leadership.   Randy McArthur, VVAA’s first president, spoke on behalf of the founders, thanking the group for the recognition.  The organization has operated the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery since it opened in 2003, and offers a wide variety of art and pottery classes and cultural and social events that serve the community.

Bunny Wiseman, right, accepts her Sponsors Choice ribbon from  Sabine Reid, left, of Bank of Nevada and VVAA president Jean Wiensch. Photo by Linda Faas.

Bunny Wiseman, right, accepts her Sponsors Choice ribbon from Sabine Reid, left, of Bank of Nevada and VVAA president Jean Wiensch. Photo by Linda Faas.

VVAA members volunteer their time and talent to operate the City-owned gallery and pottery studio.  Generous community sponsors, such as Bank of Nevada, provide financial support to VVAA, and other funding is received from Nevada Arts Council, NEA Artworks, Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation, and private individuals.  That support helps fund free art classes for kids and seniors, free public art lectures, and public art projects, with VVAA providing matching funds earned through sale of their artwork at the Gallery.  More about the organization and its classes and activities can be seen at www.mesquitefineartscenter.com or Facebook.

Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10a-4p, located at 15 West Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite, Nevada.  Phone 702-346-1338.

Kathleen Ludwig took the Red Ribbon award with her dazzling dancers, Facing the Night. Photo by Linda Faas.

Kathleen Ludwig took the Red Ribbon award with her dazzling dancers, Facing the Night. Photo by Linda Faas.

Snug in their leafy nest, Judith Hetem's sleeping clay squirrels took Honorable Mention. Photo by Linda Faas.

Snug in their leafy nest, Judith Hetem’s sleeping clay squirrels took Honorable Mention. Photo by Linda Faas.

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