39th Annual Art Competition: Meet the Abstract/Experimental Winners

39th Annual Art Competition: Meet the Abstract/Experimental Winners


We are pleased to have below the winners for the 39th Annual Art Competition in the Abstract/Experimental Category. For the full list of winners overall and in all other categories, please see the links at the end of the post.

First Place: Lisa Roggenbuck

Verge by Lisa Roggenbuck (oil on canvas, 25 1/2x 84)

My work focuses on how the body is influenced to disconnect from the self. Verge displays a lineup of bodies on the precipice of developing the defining features that signal to society whether a person will be treated as male or female. Once a body can no longer pass as male, it’s expected to adhere to the conventions of femininity determined by the dominant culture. Laws that restrict autonomy may also go into effect. Verge is about the tipping point at which a body will either be treated with possibilities or restrictions.

“This extraordinary line-up of torsos creates a patterned wall of delicate skin tones that forces the viewer to consider the meaning of these nude bodies. This is a well-crafted and challenging piece.” — Colette Odya Smith, Juror

Second Place: Irene McCuaig

In Ancient Tongue by Irene McCuaig
(acrylic paint, gel medium and cheesecloth on canvas, 30×48)

In Ancient Tongue is the 50th work in my 100 Dragons series. This piece changed my creative path as I experimented with texture as a key component of the mystical quality I wanted to convey. I subordinated realism to the abstract, suggesting the possibility of dragons without actually depicting them. People are drawn to this piece for its colors, shapes and dreamlike quality. When I mention that it’s part of my dragon series, they engage on a new level, taking time to find their own dragons in the image.

“The use of mixed media is particularly effective in creating a dreamy, otherworldly realm of mystery and possibility. There are just enough landscape references to suggest a unique place—but one that’s clearly of the mind and heart. I love that this world is filled with both darkness and light.” — Colette Odya Smith, Juror

Third Place: Irina Howard

Addiction by Irina Howard (oil on canvas, 40×30)

I painted Addiction after witnessing the near death of a person suffering from a drug overdose. This work symbolically represents dependency as a cycle of repetitive events. Contradictory experiences and compulsive behavior interfere with an addict’s ability to make the right choice and can bring that person to an edge between good and evil, life and death. My greatest desire is for the soul exposed to self-destruction to rise above the darkness and embrace the awakening mind and enlightenment.

“With this piece, it seems we’re examining both the repetitive cycle and the molecular structure of the prison of addiction. The circular headlike form is caught within the web surrounding it and is buffeted like strands of hair in the shifting currents of wind or surf.”— Colette Odya Smith, Juror

Full List

For the metal winners and the top three in each category, please see below:


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