In a rare trifecta, Judith Hetem,’s oil painting, “Meditation,” swept top honors in three judging categories of the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery’s July exhibition. The Gallery’s themed competition, “Pause and Reflect,” drew twenty entries, vying for cash and ribbon awards. The competition was sponsored by Barbara Ellestad, founder of the Mesquite Citizen Journal. Ellestad, an ardent advocate of the arts, has underwritten the July competition in each of the last three years.
Virgin Valley Artists Association President, Barbara Withelder, introduced Ellestad to the audience at the public reception on July 24, thanking her for her continued support.
Ellestad took the microphone to name Hetem as her choice for the “Sponsor’s Choice” ribbon.
The ribbon was reaffirmation of Ellestad’s preference, as she had previously purchased Hetem’s painting on the opening day of the exhibition.
The unusual aspect of the evening’s awards was the fact that “Meditation” also earned the title,
“Best of Show,“ from judges who juried the exhibition on artistic and theme content, and won the votes of the gallery visitors who participated in a “People’s Choice” balloting over the past three weeks. To achieve a triple win from all three sets of judges has been almost unheard of during the eleven years since the gallery opened in 2003.
Ribbon and cash awards were named for other outstanding interpretations of the July theme. Karlynn Jones took blue ribbon and cash for her work, “Patriotic Patti,” and also honorable mention for her watercolor, “Raven Reflecting.” Jan Doherty, painter of intricate abstracts, was awarded the red ribbon and cash award for her mixed media painting, “Cactus Jack’s.”
Another abstract artist, Mike Fletcher, pulled in the white ribbon and cash for his mesmerizing painting, “Looking In.” Artists Cheryl Beldin, Judy Heusner, and Geraldine Zarate won honorable mention for their entries.
Winner Judith Hetem is a frequent entrant in gallery exhibitions. She is the creator of the exterior art designs that have made the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery a landmark of the community. Her murals, gallery logo, and event poster designs have set the current artistic style for the gallery. She and fellow VVAA members endured blistering heat in the summer of 2010 to paint the utility boxes in front of the gallery, turning former eyesores into distinctive art pieces.
“Pause and Reflect” showed June 30-July 26, with the next themed show, “Starry Nights,” on display July 28 through August 30. That show will be sponsored by the Eureka Casino Resort. Virgin Valley Artists Association (VVAA), operators of the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, stage monthly exhibitions of original artwork for the viewing pleasure and fine arts education of the residents and visitors of the community. the gallery. Local businesses are invited to sponsor monthly exhibitions, providing support for the arts and opportunity to participate in community life.
The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is a City-owned facility, operated by volunteer staffing of the VVAA, is located at 15 W. Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite Nevada. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit the gallery, call 702-346-1338 or go to their website, www.mesquitefineartscenter.com for information on art and pottery classes, VVAA membership and sponsorship opportunities. VVAA is proud to be an advocate and contributor to the Mesquite Reads program and other programs that support our public schools and students. The Gallery features original local art, including paintings, glass, ceramics, fabric and woodcraft, jewelry, and other fine arts and gifts. “Made in Mesquite” tags mark the locally-made gift wares.