Alvinston artist takes juried show’s top prize

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 Erin Hawryluk, whose work Highland Glen placed second in the Victoria Hall Art Advisory Committee’s first juried art show views the art Wednesday.


Alvinston artist Liana Russwurm’s encaustic work ‘Beak’ has been named Best of Show at the first juried show by the Victoria Hall Arts Advisory Committee.

Committee member Linda Smith says over 40 works were submitted to be judged by artists Jane Hunter and Shelly Mallon. Seventeen were chosen to be exhibited at Victoria Hall in the council chambers until Oct. 24.

The juried show, held to celebrate the committee’s 10th anniversary, celebrated Lambton County through art. Smith says Russwurm’s work of a man from Alvinston wearing a bird’s mask isn’t what people might typically associate with Lambton County but does reflect its people. “There are different ways of approaching things…it is not a picture of an oil well or the beach but it is Lambton county.”

Hunter says she and Mallon agreed on a number of guidelines to judge the work including “interesting and unique viewpoints” which “caught our attention.

“A confident approach to the handling of the chosen medium, an appropriate presentation of the piece and above all, the artist ability to create a feeling of place and emotion of the subject,” Hunter wrote in the juror’s comments.

Russwurm, who also was recently given the People’s Choice Award at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery’s Juried Show, receives the $500 first prize.

Erin Hawryluk’s work Highland Glen placed second. Honourable mentions were given to Lou Anne Sybenga for Country Air and her brother Dan Bazuin for his work Fish. Kathleen Gillespie’s piece Flats in Autumn also was given an honourable mention.

Smith says the committee is very pleased with the number of artists who submitted to the first juried show. While not all the works will be show at the juried event until Oct. 24, the other artist works will hang in other shows at Victoria Hall over the course of the winter.

Smith adds this juried show was so successful, the committee has already decided to run another event next year.

“I have not been involved with juried shows before and  we really had no idea how many people would submit works,” says Smith. “I was very happy with the number of people who entered…I was also very pleased with the results of the jurors…It has been a really good first time for us and we’re looking forward to building to next year.”