All votes are in for the 2009 Art in Oro Valley contest, a two-dimensional themed competition that attracted more than 70 of the area's most promising artists.
The Greater Oro Valley Arts Council event, now in its ninth year, showcases works for and about the community and its residents.
Artists submitted pieces that were inspired by water in one category, or by places, people, landscapes or wildlife found nearby for the "Oro Valley" division. Some contestants, such as past winner Pam Davidson, had multiple entries. Davidson created "Designs in H2O" for the "Water" competition and "King of Honey Bee Canyon" for the "Oro Valley" category. The second piece, which depicts the crested saguaro on Rancho Vistoso Boulevard, placed third among its topic's entries.
Winners were unveiled at the April 23 grand opening reception at Ventana Medical Systems. Guests browsed the artwork and enjoyed wine, appetizers and a silent auction.
Rebecca Stanley took first place in "Water" for her "Green Wave," while Victoria von Elbe's "Spring in Oro Valley" captured the top spot for "Oro Valley."
Stanley's self-described abstract, an oil on Masonite panel, was inspired by her visits to California and Florida. "I go to the ocean when I can and I love the waves," she said. Stanley had already started the painting before this year's themes were announced and felt "it was apt that the category was water."
"Green Wave" was a different approach for the artist, who normally paints in tight realism and believes the form to be more popular than abstract in this part of the country. "I was surprised and pleased," she said of her winning entry.
The landscape surrounding her home inspired von Elbe's wood-cut piece, which she created two years ago. "I can see the Catalina Mountains from my backyard." More specifically, she added, "Spring in Oro Valley" is her interpretation of Pusch Ridge as seen from the Fry's grocery store on Oracle Road.
Her first-place finish "was a huge surprise," von Elbe said. "I like to be a part of something. It was a very good experience."
She also praised the contest's exhibition setting, maintaining that "Ventana as a venue is very nice, the gallery has wide spaces and it shows the work very well."
Both winning artists entered a second piece this year and have entered the competition in the past. Stanley won an honorable mention in a previous year, and her "Wildflowers in a Black Mug" placed first in 2005.
Local high school junior and senior students were invited to enter their work in the open "Up and Coming Artists" category. Alex Nesler beat out his peers for first place with "Hypodontia (Lost Wisdom)."
Art in Oro Valley
Through July 31, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ventana Medical Systems Gallery,
1910 East Innovation Park Drive
2009 Winners from Art in Oro Valley Competition
1st place — Rebecca Stanley, "Green Wave"
2nd place — Cynthia Lynn Miller, "Sunset Over the Sea"
3rd place — Harry Greene, "High and Dry"
Honorable Mention — Marianne Bjernfalk, "Water in Death Valley"
Honorable Mention — Rita Ward, "Lemmon Melt"
1st place — Victoria von Elbe, "Spring in Oro Valley"
2nd place — Carol Gloriosa, "La Flor de Oro"
3rd place — Pam Davidson, "King of Honey Bee Canyon"
Honorable Mention — Allison Alexandra, "Susan"
Honorable Mention — Collins Baker, "Pusch Ridge Rhapsody"
UP AND COMING ARTISTS
1st place — Alex Nesler, "Hypodontia (Lost Wisdom)"
2nd place — Claudetta Bastamante, "The Peace Within"
3rd place — Jessica Balock, "It's Good for the Spine"
Honorable Mention — Neal Carpenter, "Swan Song Self Portrait"
Honorable Mention — Nathan Wood, "Glory of the Bengal"