Monday, March 20, 2017

"Persimmons in the Kitchen" Wins Best in Show and Two Other Big Treats

"Persimmons in the Kitchen," oil, 20"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks won Best in Show at the "There's No Place Like Home" juried exhibit of work by Great Falls Studios artists on view at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street, Herndon, VA) through April 8, 2017. The exhibit was juried and judge by Tom and Linda Neel. The Best in Show award was sponsored by Brightview Senior Living Great Falls. Thank you!
This past weekend was pretty spectacular ... with joy spread around at gatherings I could and couldn't attend.

Saturday Night, March 18, 2017

Where I was: At an incredible dinner hosted by a collector celebrating six women artists -- bringing us together for great food, very interesting conversation, toasts, and connections. Most of us did not know each other when we walked through the front door. We were treated to a five-course meal presented in a candlelit dining room surrounded by beautiful art. The evening was capped off with tour throughout the house of all that art -- including many of our works -- hung with care.  My head's quite full of visions and remnants from a very memorable evening. Thank you to this very special collector and to ALL you collectors out there who invite us into your hearts and homes!
The Party's Over ... the aftermath of a wonderful dinner for six lucky women artists hosted by a special collector. His dog says "Bye." We were surrounded by art ... and talked art, among other subjects.

Where I wasn't: At the awards reception for the Arts of Great Falls School Annual Student Exhibition -- Youth Edition.  This is the first year that the Student Exhibition has been divided into two with the Youth Exhibit up in the School Gallery now and the Adult Student Show starting on April 8.  I love the awards reception -- with students happily joined by friends and family to celebrate their hard work and growth as artists.  I'm so sorry to have missed this one but WILL be at the Adult Student Show's Award Reception on Friday, April 14.  Hope to see you there! Congratulations to the younger artists who have pursued classes and presented their work in the current show.

Sunday Afternoon, March 19, 2017

Where I was: Teaching my last Portrait Painting class of the term. I'm going to miss our Sunday afternoons together. Winter is the only time of the year that a weekend weekly class fits in my schedule. Each student has devoted a lot of their "together" time with family to attend and have shown stunning growth each week. It's hard to express how rewarding it is to be part of that process.  In addition to enjoying seeing them progressing, I love seeing friendships formed. We've had an awful lot of fun meeting challenges together!
One view from my Portrait Painting Class. This Sunday was the last day of class and I couldn't miss it. Each student has grown so much this term ... and afforded me the joy of helping make that happen. The Youth Student Exhibition for the Arts of Great Falls School show is in the background -- all around the room.

And another view

Where I wasn't: At the Awards Reception for the "There's No Place Like Home" Exhibit at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street, Herndon, VA). That's where Judges Tom and Linda Neel awarded my oil painting "Persimmons in the Kitchen" Best in Show and talked about why/how they chose each piece. I sure wish that a clone was available ... occasionally. So much time goes into "pitching" an exhibit (Great Falls Studios exhibit committee presented a proposal to ArtSpace Herndon long ago), organizing it, selecting the jurors, selecting the work to display, hanging the work, selecting the award winners, and on and on ...  As artists honored by having our work on exhibit and potentially winning awards, we strive to properly thank organizers, judges, fellow artists ... by showing up at receptions and show events. That's why I flew to Fort Wayne, Indiana for one day last year for the opening of the Oil Painters of America's Salon Show. Or why I've flown or driven to exhibit receptions in NYC, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and elsewhere. It's a joy ... but it's also a thank you. So, I couldn't be there for the reception -- but do sincerely appreciate all the efforts, work and consideration put in by the Great Falls Studios exhibition committee, ArtSpace Herndon, fellow artists and Tom and Linda Neel for judging the show.  Please go take a look at the exhibit -- on view through April 8 at ArtSpace Herndon.  Tell them I sent you (please).

"There's No Place Like Home" Award Winners -- Judges Tom and Linda Neel

Best of Show:  Jill Banks for "Persimmons in the Kitchen" (oil - shown above)
Award Sponsored by Brightview Senior Living Great Falls

Pat Neuman's "Hens Over the Haha House" wins Best Use of Theme - award sponsored by TD Bank
Best Use of Theme: Pat Neuman for "Hens Over the HaHa Wall" (pastel)
Award Sponsored by TD Bank

"Springtime Palisades" mixed media piece by Jennifer Duncan wins Second Prize
Second Prize: Jennifer Duncan for "Springtime Palisades" (mixed media)

Dorry Emmer's "Be It Ever So Humble" fiber art garnered Third Prize
 Third Prize: Dorry Emmer for "Be It Ever So Humble" (fiber)

"Wolftrap" by Roberta Pruett Beasley received an Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention: Roberta Pruett Beasley for "Wolftrap" (mixed media)

"Michael and Jesse," Lori Goll's beautiful pastel of Frying Pan Park, received an Honorable Mention -- and was snatched up by an artist/collector at the Awards Reception of "There's No Place Like Home."
 Honorable Mention: Lori Goll for "Michael and Jesse" (pastel)

Congratulations to All!

Lastly, a Few Friendly Reminders...

Spring Classes are Open For Registration

Classes are taught through the Arts of Great Falls School at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA.  Spring class listings including Evening Paint, Plein Air Landscape and Still Life Plus are on my web site.  Have any questions, please email me at  See my listing of all classes here:

Now might be a good time to register. Make sure there's a spot for you this Spring.

Upcoming Spring Art Events Officially on the Calendar for 2017 
Hope you'll mark your calendars.
March 14-April 9: "No Place Like Home" juried exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon VA. Reception: Sunday, March 19, 3-5pm. Get more info on that exhibit here.  "Persimmons in the Kitchen" won Best in Show.
April 22-23: Arlington Festival of the Arts, Arlington, VA (more info to come)
April 29-30: Fairfax Fine Art Festival, Fairfax Corners, VA (more info to come)
April 29-30: Great Falls Spring Art Festival at the Atelier (756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA) and the Grange/Schoolhouse plus more.  My work will be at the Atelier and hopefully I'll have a helper to greet you -- but see me at the Fairfax Fine Art Festival at my booth.
May 20-21: Northern Virginia Fine Art Festival, Reston, VA
June 2-4: Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Festival, Philadelphia, PA

Thank you for reading and your support... Hope to see you soon!


Best in Show -- BoldBrush Painting Competition, September 2016 for "Daily Special" -- out of 1440 entries.  More info on the competition here.

Finalist -- Sedona Art Prize, January 2017 for "Scene at the Bar" -- see the 12 Top Paintings selected by artist Robert Burridge here:

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