BANGOR, Maine - Blue skies and light breezes complemented the work displayed by some 70 artists at the WLBZ 2 Sidewalk Art Festival on Saturday. The day was even more pleasant for five artists judges selected for awards based on their bodies of work.
Melissa Post Van Der Burg of Augusta won the Best in Show blue ribbon. Judges described Post Van Der Burg's work as capturing small moments of everyday life, "explorations of human emotion" in a variety of settings. They also cited the quality of light captured in her oil paintings. The award means Post Van Der Burg will receive an $800 cash prize. She also took home the People's Choice Award for the day receiving the most votes from festival-goers and earning her another $700 cash prize.
Taking home the Best in Show Photography award was Marty Harris of Blue Hill. Judges said his use of film affords greater detail and quality of print. They had particular praise for his black and white compositions, calling them "graphically strong." Harris' subject matter "...had a strong interest level and defied stereotypes and cliches." In addition to his blue ribbon, Harris receives a $500 prize.
Serving as judges were painters Adele Drake, who is also an art instructor at Husson University and Ed Nadeau, an assistant professor at the University of Maine. They were joined by Dr. Jessica Manaker of Acadia Hospital, which displayed patient work from its Artisan Project at the Festival. William Drake judged the photography entries in the show. A professional photographer, Drake teaches at Husson University and is the campus photographer for the University of Maine.
Second place Festival awards in fine art and photography went to Kathleen Perelka and Gregory Spring, respectively. Perelka lives in Canaan and works in pastels. Judges said she had a solid body of work and complimented her "commitment to an idea and subject matter" when making their decision. Her award comes with a $450 cash prize. Spring is a photographer living in Lamoine, whose black and white work had a sepia quality, according to judges. They also said his selective use of color "...gives a strong emotional connection to memory and times past." Spring will receive a $300 cash prize.
Old Town High School student Mariah Trembley received the WLBZ 2 Sidewalk Art Festival Emerging Artist award. Judges said her work had "...a strong graphic quality with a limited palette that is communicated instantly to the viewer." Trembley will receive a $250 cash prize and has her entry fee waived for the 2013 Sidewalk Art Festival.
Several pieces of art will go on display at WLBZ 2 as "purchase prizes" selected by the station. Two pieces by photographer J. Kevin White from Hope and an oil painting by Post Van Der Burg will be added to the television station's collection of original works purchased at the Sidewalk Art Festivals.