An Explosion of Color by Linda McGuiness

Among the selected entries on exhibt at HD SOUTH and online is, a watercolor appropriately titled “An Explosion of Color” by Linda McGuiness.

Creating visual art is mostly a solitary occupation within a home space. 

From time to time,  however,  the art must be shown to others for critical appreciation, progression and even financial gain.

With that in mind, the Gilbert Visual Art League presents regular shows that allow members to showcase and sell their work and compete for commendations. 

The 18th annual juried Fine Art Show and Sale is now going on through April 2 in Gallery 4 at HD SOUTH, home of the Gilbert Historical Museum. 

More than 30 artists, some professional, some semi-professional and others amateur, entered 117 pieces created within the last three years in two- or three-dimensions in painting, drawing, photography or sculpture. 

Juror Alan Fitzgerald of Art Intersection gallery chose 79 works to display. 

Due to the pandemic, however, only a selection is available for viewing in the gallery. All juried items are on display at gval.org

No opening or closing receptions are planned either, due to COVID-19. 

“Gallery 4 is usually packed during our receptions and that wouldn’t be safe at this time,” said Donna Finter, board member. 

“A live gallery show is best for full appreciation of the colors and textures of the art pieces,” she added. “However, more people see the show when we include an online version as well as live. The hybrid version works best for sales.” 

The show, open to any artist over 18, awards winners in each category. 

First place winners included: Sandra Wilderman’s “Migration, in Search of a New Home” in the acrylic category; Christina Rosepapa’s “Resilience” in drawings; Mary Opat’s “Mystical Mirage” in mixed media; Donna Branson’s “Overlooking Oak Creek” in pastels; Richard Finter’s “Petroglyphs in the Round” in photography.

Other first-place winners were Linda McGuiness’s “Explosion of Color” in watercolor and Anita Moser’s “Peaceful Pond” in oils. 

The Best of Show award went to Jane Bradley for her colorful oil painting, “Code Talker.”

The league is also a nominee for the 2021 Arizona Governor’s Arts Award.

“We are thrilled to be recognized with other excellent art groups.” Finter said. 

Despite the quarantining, members have been able to keep up with online meetings and artist presentations. 

In January, Linda Glover Gooch demonstrated how she paints clouds with a different use of color and layering technique.

 In Feburary, plein air artist Linda Pullinsi shared her palette colors and brush application techniques while painting a desert and mountain scene.

In March, Justine Mantor-Waldie, a nationally recognized artist whose artwork is created in various mediums and has its own style, will present.

For many league members, art has been a passion from early days. Rosepapa, the owner of a graphic and website design business, remembers drawing horses and flowers in her backyard, and then during her college years as a Fine Arts major. She combines her art and design skills in her current work.

Rosepapa’s current artistic subjects include portraits, sunflowers, desert scenes and still life paintings.

The subjects are portrayed in such a way that they cause the viewer to reflect, see the beauty and the story that is often overlooked or understated, she said.

Her winning entry, “Resilience,” expresses the sunflower in the autumnal phase. In it, “a mixture of warm oranges, golden yellows and browns contrast with the sunflower petals wilting and turning inward.” 

“Strong and heavy, even in the slow process of withering, the sunflower becomes magnificent and poignant,” Rosepapa said. 

Hobby photographer Richard Finter’s “Petroglyphs in the Round” winning entry features the Desert View Watchtower at the Grand Canyon.

“I’ve taken many pictures over the sixty years or so since I got my first camera. Most have been taken of family and friends at special occasions and while on vacations and business trips,” he said. “I especially enjoy taking pictures of natural beauty and of beautiful and historic human creations.”

The artists are grateful to be members of the league.

“It’s great to have an organization such as the Gilbert Visual Art League as a place to not only view the amazing work of extremely talented artists and watch as they share and refine their skills but also as a place to submit some of my work,” Finter said. 

Adeed Rosepapa: “Art creates a deeper connection for bringing people together. Having this outlet for artists brings more visibility to community and to the ideas, stories and experiences that people express.”

HD South is located at 10 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. The show is open from March 6 to April 2 and is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Admission is $6 adult; $5 senior (ages 60 plus); $3 youth, (ages 5-12). Details: 480-926-1577 or hdsouth.org.