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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

SMAL hosts first award showcase for local artists

Kobe Arriaga
Artist Carol Serur poses with her displayed artwork, “When you forget to close the door…”, following the San Marcos Art League May Showcase, Thursday, May 30, 2024, at the San Marcos Art Center.

Canvases glistened under gallery lights as the San Marcos Art League (SMAL) hosted its inaugural award show on May 3. Fifty of the SMAL’s talented members put brush to canvas and sculptor’s tool to clay to compete for the best in multiple categories to secure a spot in the July winner showcase.

Margo Handwerker, the SMAL award show judge, evaluated the artwork submitted for the award show. The show provided no artist information or titles. Handwerker conducted a walkthrough, looking for originality, composition, technical skills, use of color and contrast, emotional impact and storytelling ability.

Garrie Borden, local artist, won “Best in Mixed Media.” Her 3-D collage, titled “My Cup Got Runneth Over” is comprised of an assortment of ceramic pieces and ceramic leaves assembled in a wall-hanging box. Borden created it during a mosaic workshop hosted by her friend, where she intended to simply have fun with the artistic process.

Borden began creating art while in college, focusing primarily on paintings and collage artwork. When she moved from Rhode Island to San Marcos in 2012, she immersed herself further into the local art community.

Borden believes the SMAL’s award show provides recognition for local artists instead of monetary gain. She said the event aims to inspire new artists by enriching the artistic experience in the community.

“The events the Art League hosts and even the ones at the Price Center allow young artists to talk to artists from many different backgrounds and experiences,” Borden said. “It gives these younger artists a way to learn from these artists and gives them a way to comfortably get into the local art community.”

Charlotte Wattigny, a ceramist, won the “Best in Show” award. For the past 40 years, Wattigny has dedicated herself to the local art community. As the creative and marketing manager for Visit San Marcos, she oversees the city’s Mural Arts Program, which showcases work by local artists on murals throughout town.

Wattigny said exhibitions like the SMAL’s Award Show benefit the local art community by offering artists a venue to display their work and feel appreciated.

“My advice is to make art for yourself, not for others, and don’t be afraid to express your creativity,” Wattigny said. “With the art league’s many exhibitions artists can submit work to, they encourage artists to express themselves.”

Norman Bean, a drawing artist and co-chairman of the SMAL’s Award Show, has been an artist for 60 years. Bean’s artistic notoriety began in the second grade, and he has been creating art and learning about the craft throughout his life.

Bean worked with Nancy Brown, the art center director of SMAL, to organize the annual exhibition showcasing local artists. Bean said the show allows local artists to earn money, win prizes and gain recognition and exposure beyond the art community.

“The award show gives artists great public exposure,” Bean said. “They go to incredible lengths to create excellent artwork.”

Bean said the show provides an important platform for artists of all backgrounds and art mediums to showcase their skills to a wider audience beyond their hometown circles.

“While organizers like myself and Brown are from the same art community, the show attracted a wide variety of artists from Austin to San Antonio who all competed,” Bean said.

The award show allowed visitors to view all the competing artwork. Category winners also on display were Karly Schlievert for “Best in Ceramics,” Mia Hendricks for “Best in Photography,” Jessie Kennedy Steinburg for “Best in Wet 2-D” media such as watercolor, oil and acrylic and Augustin Diocares for “Best in Dry 3-D” media such as crayon, pastels and charcoal.

The winners’ exhibition will be held at the San Marcos Art Center on July 12 at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the San Marcos Art Center.

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