COLE CAMP — An acrylic painting titled “Canada Geese” by Robin Caskey, of Clinton, took Best of Show in the 99th annual Cole Camp Fair Fine Arts competition Thursday.
The competition is hosted in the Cole Camp Jaycee Building each year and is divided into fine art and photography categories. Fine art judge this year was Tom Piché, director of the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art at State Fair Community College; photography judge was Sedalia photographer Kevin Walker.
Although entries are down this year in the fine art division, artwork has been arriving for the last two days from several surrounding towns including Clinton and Marshall. The photography division fared better with 73 people entering with a total of 371 photos submitted.
Cole Camp Fine Arts Chair Donna Gooch said that division had 32 exhibitors with 77 pieces turned in for the competition. Each artist could enter up to four pieces. The division includes children’s art, professional and amateur categories.
“Entries are low, we usually have 100 or more,” she added.
Art in the show this year not only includes Cole Camp residents but also comes from artists in Marshall, Clinton, Warsaw and Sedalia. The fine art division includes oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, drawing, sculpture, miscellaneous and 3-Dimensional.
“We have more professional entries than we do amateur or children,” Gooch said.
Gooch plans to add another category in the fine arts division next year.
“I do know, we want to try and get at least one more category next year,” she said. “It will be mixed media, we don’t have an actual mixed media category. The mixed media right now are in miscellaneous.”
Gooch was pleased with this year’s show.
“A lot of people put a lot of time into their work, there’s a lot of nice pieces,” she added.
Piché gave high praise for the best of show painting “Canada Geese.”
“I love the technique,” he said. “Initially, it’s a common wildlife scene, but it’s handled in such a careful manner. That appealed to me. I love the control of the palette.
“The birds feel just absolutely right, and the attention to detail, like this field in the back and middle ground there,” he added pointing to the painting. “The quality of the line, I think it just all came together. It kind of has a folk quality to it, but it’s not as broadly worked as a lot of folk art is, there’s a lot more attention to the detail.”
He did added that he would change the frame from wood to black.
“If it was a black frame, it would pull out the middle more,” he said.
Another first place winner stood out to Piché, an oil in the professional division by Dustin Mothersbaugh, of Sedalia. The portrait titled, “Miranda,” he said “speaks about something happening off the canvas.”
“Capturing that smile, I think that’s special,” he added. “That appealed to me, and it’s just well done. Dustin knows his way around the paintbrush.”
Piché “loved” the pastel work of Marlis Wise, of Sedalia, and Maren Schenewark, of Cole Camp. Schenewark received first place for her landscape painting “Rain Tracks.”
“I just like their touch with pastel,” he said of the woman’s art. “Maren just gets more, and more interesting. It’s so abstract and at the same time it’s clearly a natural scene, you can see that little bit of water in the middle. Otherwise it’s like an abstract expressionist painting. I am always happy to see her work.”
He was also impressed with the collage work of Sedalian Shirley Horacek. Horacek took first in the miscellaneous category for her piece “Hyacinth Bean.”
Gary Cadwallader, of Warrensburg, placed first in the professional division for his watercolor “Water Lilies and Koi,” and Caskey placed first in sculpture for her piece, “Mourning Dove.” In the 3-Dimensional division, Samantha Koenke, of Cole Camp, placed first for her piece titled ”Deer.”
Photography judge Walker was pleased with the amount and quality of photo entries this year.
“There are so many talented photographers, (and a) wide range a photographs,” Walker said by email. “It is a very hard job to choose just one to be first place. But, when you choose from the heart it’s hard to go wrong. I hope everyone enjoys the Cole Camp Fair this year!”
The fine arts and photography exhibits can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Saturday in the Cole Camp Jaycee Building. In the fine arts division, visitors may vote for the People’s Choice Award today through Saturday. Gooch will tally the votes at 7 p.m. Saturday and will deliver them to the Grandstand to be announced.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 826-1000 ext. 1481 or @flbemiss.