This past Saturday, winners were announced at the Artopia event at Crobar@Exit 66. We received about 165 entries for the contest. The quality and variety of work was amazing. None of it could be discounted. Difficult as it was to do, the pool was narrowed to 35 entries that our panel of judges looked at closely. The judges scored those entries. The Top 13 were announced in last week's print edition, and the Top 4 were given $1,000 checks at Artopia.
The judges were:
-- Janet Gold, visual artist / professor, Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
-- Michael McKeever, playwright / actor / visual artist
-- Meredith Lasher, producer, Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing / founder, Women's Theatre Project
-- Michelle Weinberg, creative director, Girls' Club Foundation
-- Brandon K. Thorp, New Times theatre critic
-- Michael Mills, New Times art critic
-- Amanda Magnetta, founder, Bear & Bird Gallery
-- Lori J. Durante, founder, Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History
-- Tate Ottati, owner, Tate's Comics
And the four winners are:
Kara Walker-Tome, who is usually so busy celebrating other artists that her own incredible skills can go relatively unnoticed. For eight years running, she's commandeered the chic Hotel Biba for a night, making way for artists to set up elaborate installations in each room. More recently, the independent curator has unleashed her guerrilla-style tactics on a self-storage facility. artsitepictures.shutterfly.com
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Skot Olsen, who makes elaborate paintings that convey both his love for and awe of sea. He depicts freaky creatures in wild celebrations and rituals; terrible sea monsters and naked ladies; and sea squids who gobble up sailing ships whole. www.skotolsen.com
Victoria Skinner, who blurs boundaries with her cyanotype collages and chimera sculptures. Her work is a mix between human and animal, organic and mechanical, science and art, imagination and knowledge. Her work often achieves what she describes as "a balance between apprehension and amusement, the disturbing and the beautiful." gallery.me.com/vskinner.whnatysh
Francene Levinson, a former art teacher who discovered the obscure art of Chinese unit paper folding, "Zhe Zhi." She works now full-time on intricate paper sculptures. Each piece might use 3,500 sheets of recycled paper, and each takes months to create. www.francenelevinson.com
Congratulations to all winners, and we hope everyone else re-enters next year!