Barry Winter with Mesquite Gaming presenting Sponsors Choice Award to Susan Wakefield. Photo by Kathleen Snow.

By Kathleen Snow

The winners for the Virgin Valley Artists Association competition for June “The View From Here” were announced Thursday at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery.

This month’s competition was sponsored by Mesquite Gaming and had some unique and beautiful artwork at play.

Third Place winner, Susan Holladay, for ‘Shivwits Arch.’ Photo by Kathleen Snow.

“Many different interpretations are exhibited,” said VVAA board member Jenny Riddick. “Everything from views over popular landmarks, to the view of grass/trees from an insect’s perspective, to the view of the night sky can be seen in the exhibition.  We had a great turnout in entries for this competition, and all the artwork is exceptional in its own right.”

The winners for June’s competition were: Best in Show- Jan Hansen, First Place – Cheryl Sachse; Second Place – Ray Pittman; Third Place – Susan Holladay; Sponsor’s Choice – Susan Wakefield; People’s Choice – Floyd Johnson. Honorable Mentions were: Janet Trobough, Susan Wakefield, Charyn McDonnell and Joan Cooperman.

First Place winner, Cheryl Sachse, for ‘Hidden Waterfalls.’ Photo by Kathleen Snow.

Riddick announced winners and handed out ribbons and cash prizes. She acknowledged Mesquite Gaming representative Barry Winter, who was there to present the Sponsor’s Choice award. Additionally, she thanked Mesquite Gaming for its continued support of VVAA in the community.

Winter presented the ribbon for Sponsors Choice to Susan Wakefield for her painting titled “Take Off,” which depicts a hot air balloon launching into the sky. Winter said it was a difficult decision to choose the winner for Sponsor’s Choice, but decided on the art piece that complimented one of Mesquite Gaming’s important events with the Balloon Festival.

People’s Choice from Floyd Johnson for ‘Honoring Those Who Served.’ Photo by Kathleen Snow.

New VVAA member Cheryl Sachse won first place for her piece titled “Hidden Waterfalls.”

“I just joined two months ago,” Sachse said. “I am from St George and many there told me how wonderful this group of artists is. This is my first competition here and I entered three watercolor pieces as well as the winning piece I did in alcohol ink. I prefer watercolor, but I just started working in alcohol ink and it can be frustrating sometimes. I wasn’t even going to enter that piece, but my husband talked me into it so now he thinks he should get the check,” she said.

The third place ribbon went to Susan Holladay, who created her piece in pencil of “Shivwits Arch” in the Virgin River Gorge.

“I have hiked up to Shivwits Arch a couple of times and the picture shows the view of looking down through the arch at the gorge,” Holladay said. “The arch is on the way to St George and is up about 20 feet high. It is a very difficult hike and I took pictures while up there. I thought it would be a great piece to draw what it looks like to be up above the arch looking down through it.”

Sponsor’s Choice by Susan Wakefield for her painting titled ‘Take Off.’ Photo by Kathleen Snow.


Riddick presented the People’s Choice award to Floyd Johnson for his painting titled “Honoring Those Who Served” that is a color painting of the famous WWII raising of the American Flag.

“It is different from other paintings that I have done, as it’s a re-creation of a significant event in our history,” said Johnson. “The famous photo was in black-and-white and I wanted to do it justice with a painted rendition in full color. I worked on it off and on for over 18 months.”

The July theme exhibition of “Nevada.”

Information on membership, upcoming exhibitions, and art classes can be found at or by calling 702-346-1338.