BELOIT — The Beloit Fine Arts Incubator had a lively turnout May 3 for the opening night of the juried art show with the theme “Spiritual Art.”
The reception was held at the BFAI building in downtown Beloit as patrons snacked, mingled and browsed through the gallery.
“It’s a beautiful show, and we have lots of really wonderful art here,” said Jerry Sveum, BFAI president, from behind his podium on wheels.
A total of 59 pieces of art by 18 artists were on display. The show runs through May 31.
Artists come from as far away as Missouri, as well as from Beloit, Rockford, Rockton, Clinton, Edgerton, Loves Park and Janesville.
The show was judged by local artists Dan Wuthrich and Susan Swedland. Wuthrich’s art can be found worldwide and several prominent galleries have represented him during his long career.
He is a graduate of Layton School of Arts in Milwaukee, where he majored in fine arts. Swedland is a graduate of Washburn University with a bachelor’s of fine arts degree and was a scenic painting intern in Alaska. Currently, she is creating pottery at her Beloit studio.
Sveum explained that the judges did a first pass, looking solely at the artistic technique and ability of each artist. After this they came back for a second pass to examine each piece spiritually in accordance with the show’s theme.
“Then they got together in the morning and battled it out,” Sveum joked. “It really wasn’t much of a battle though because their selection was so close. It was more like a discussion of which place the winners they had chosen came in.”
1st Place: The first-place winner was created by James Richter of Janesville for his piece titled, “Emotional Tsunami.”
The painting shows an ocean wave coming in, but there is a window with light coming through it. Sveum says it shows that when you have a dark part of your life, when there is turmoil and terrific problems, even at those moments you can see some light through the window.
“There is hope in this terrible situation,” Sveum said.
The judges noted that there was a skillful contrast of lights and darks in this painting as well as great color choice in the dark blues and foam of the surf as the wave turns over.
2nd Place: The second-place winner was artist Nancy M. Stone from Missouri for her piece titled “God So Loved the World.”
Stone was unable to make it to the show, but her daughter received the award for her. According to Sveum, Dean Folts, past BFAI president stopped at this painting while exploring the gallery and exclaimed, “That hand is beautiful.”
Judges said that the technique was strong, the painting was powerful and it speaks for itself.
“You can’t help but feel the emotion,” Sveum said.
3rd Place: The third-place winner was artist Gary Gandy of Janesville for his piece titled “The Peace Blessing.” The judges felt that this piece was a beautiful rendition of Miracle, the sacred white buffalo born on the Heider Farm in Janesville in 1994. “Gary has the technique down, the drawing and painting is done really well,” Sveum said. “If you step back you can feel the atmosphere of this painting as it fades into the distance.”
Judges thought that the mature buffalo’s eyes made this particular piece so strong because they embodied a certain protective and nurturing emotion so well.
The show runs through May 31 and the majority of the work is for sale. The gallery is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information on the gallery or activities and events BFAI has lined up for the spring and summer season, visit www.beloitfineartsincubator.com.