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Open Winter Juried Show opens

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Jan 14, 2021

Penny Fox made this watercolor of the old facade of Dixie Fish Co. in Fort Myers Beach. The work is currently on display at the Open Winter Juried Show

Some star power buttressed the Fort Myers Beach Art Association’s latest exhibit through the judging of the Open Winter Juried Show.

The most competitive of the association’s shows, this year’s display was judged by Artis-Naple’s Rangsook Yoon, who is director of curatorial affairs at The Baker Museum.

The association saw “a lot more entries” for its winter show this year than last year, said Pam Flaherty, publicity director for the art association. Many had to be turned away to make space for this season’s show.

Flaherty took home the top prize in the juried show for her work titled “Lost.”

Flaherty’s wood burning on Korean hanji paper is loosely based to show a graph detailing the deaths from COVID-19, she said. Flaherty used small stripes of gold paint over some of the burned marks and small burned pieces of this Joss paper along the top of the piece. Joss paper is used as an offering at funerals in Chinese and other cultures. Flaherty obtained the paper from South Korea, where her daughter Katharine lives.

Artist Kathleen Taylor's artwork of the updated Dixie Fish Co. on Fort Myers Beach

“I think of the piece as a fusion of different cultures represented in the materials,” Flaherty said. “The hanji is very strong and resilient, while the Joss is created to burn and remember loved ones. I think of the gold as a form of becoming stronger from a loss and healing.

“My dad always said that a person’s death is like the burning of a library. That has haunted me ever since my mom died just before all this stuff started. I used a wood burner to make each of the lines. I used a Japanese calligraphy pen to do the writing at the bottom,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty said she likes the hanji paper for its durability. It can last hundreds of years and even survive the use of a wood burning tool. “It was a very hard-to-do process,” Flaherty said of the artwork.

Penny Fox made it into the show with a watercolor of the old Dixie Fish Co. restaurant before its latest remodel.

Fox said association members used to go out there often for open-air painting. She used an old painting of the restaurant as inspiration as well as photographs she had taken.

Artist John Rizza has two works in the Winter Juried Show

“We used to paint their a lot on our Wednesday plein-airs,” she said. She said she likes “the memories” of the restaurant’s old look.

Yoon called the show “surprisingly refreshing.” Yoon said there are “a lot of good works” with a “variety of styles” from pastels to oil painting, abstract experimental, traditional representational, collage, watercolors and acrylic.

Yoon said she liked the oil painting “Gloucester” by artist Kim Johnson Belange, which is a “beautiful sense of Americana” capturing a gloomy day in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Yoon said it is a place that has frequently been captured by American painters.

Winners of Fort Myers Beach Art Association Open Winter Juried Show:

First place: “Lost” by Pam Flaherty

Art by Jeanne Raimondi

Second place: “Gloucester” by Kim Johnson Belange

Third place: “I’m a Bigger Parrothead Than You” by Laura Black

Merit Award: “Rome – Old City” by Louise Davis

Merit Award: “Wall of Moms” by John Rizza

Honorable mention: “Yuba River Gold” by Sue Dunlap

Art by Kathleen Taylor

Honorable mention: “Just Hanging Out” by Chris Mitts

Lee Ackert Memorial Award for use of color: “Happy Place” by Garry Scott Wheeler

Sylvia Kasparie Memorial Award for Collage: “Table Stakes” by Sue Pink

Acrylic art by Mina Bobel

Fort Myers Beach Art Association publicity director Pam Flaherty's wood burning technique on hanji paper scored top prize at the Winter Juried Show, which opened to the public on Monday. Judging the show was Rangsook Yoon, Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Baker Museum.