2023 WOWS Member’s Watercolor Show
Troy-Hayner Cultural Center
301 West Main Street, Troy, OH 45373
It was an incredible honor to serve as juror for the Western Ohio’s Watercolor Society (WOWS)
Member Show at Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. To all artist members that submitted work, thank
you for the opportunity to see through your eyes and experience your vision through this lens.
To the artists selected, congratulations. As a veteran high school art teacher, I have always loved the versatility of watercolor but find it to be the most challenging to teach as teens often resist the planning and patience vital for developed, traditional works in watercolor. I sensed your persistence with the details I uncovered in each pass I made through the exhibit. After careful study, I was ultimately drawn to works that transported me to a place. These works evoked a memory and occasionally echoed themes of celebrated artists. It would be irresponsible of me to not acknowledge my interest in the application of the media and I would note that a different juror could have easily chosen other works. There is an immense amount of talent on exhibit.
First place recipient Tessa Kalman translates smell and sound in Out of the Gate; her gestural figures are posturally expressive in the middle ground of a composition dominated by transparent, textural exhaust that capitalizes on the granular surface.
Oakes Quarry Park by Linda Leas (second place) is masterfully masked and layered; I am transported to the idyllic settings we long for as observers of beloved natural settings.
Rounding out the juror awardeesis My First Wheels No2; seemingly celebratory of youth and its discovered freedoms, Connie S. Gifford’s closed composition hints at isolation like that of Edward Hopper; it delights andimposes thought.
Honorable Mention pieces explore a variety of themes like a survey course in the arts. Rose Schultz’s Shady Sojourn is a meticulous study in depth that’s playfully approached like a batik.
The ordinary is extraordinary in Cheryl Milligan’s elevated still life, Summer’s Bounty; the rich
tones in contrast to highlights satisfy the viewer. The loose, gestural quality of Jennifer O’Brien’s Twins is contemporary and playful. Finally, Marie Trittschuh’s open composition, Pollinating, marries traditional watercolor to the newest of paper; detail bubbles to the top of the surface in a soft, puddled background of a similar palette.
Winter of Life by Marsha Elliott was selected for the Portrait Award; this structured, modern vignette highlights a traditional, familiar subject with confident tones and bold light.
Other important factors are craftsmanship and technique, individual expression, and unique qualities that draw the viewer back to the piece for a second or third time, making me wonder how something was planned or marveling at what seems effortless (but clearly is not!) Life as a teacher can be insular and I want to applaud all exhibitors for their courage and hope others are inspired to share their work in this way. Again, thank you for this opportunity.