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Silver City Clay Festival juried show winners announced

Silver City Clay Festival's Juried Art Tile Show and Neo-Mimbreño 2012 Exhibition Winners Are Announced
Silver City, NM — August 6, 2012 —The Silver City Clay Festival ended with a grand finale on Sunday, August 5, when winners of the Juried Art Tile Show were announced at Bear Mountain Lodge. Lee Gruber, Director of the Festival, and Sheila Menzies of the Tile Heritage Foundation proudly made the announcement.

Renowned ceramic artist Alfredo Ratinoff, who is a faculty member at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, was the distinguished juror for the show.  His juror's statemen was read to those attending the awards celebration. In it he wrote,  "A group art exhibition is not a competition, even if awards are presented – an art exhibition is a celebration of many people working together, each one with a vision, but collectively making a bold statement about the importance and power of art.” His words capture the spirit of the Clay Festival.

There were 132 entries in the Juried Art Tile Show from 50 local, national, and Canadian artists, which will be on display through September 3, at six local galleries: Art & Conversation (Yada Yada Yarn), Blue Dome Gallery (Bear Mountain Lodge), Leyba and Ingalls Arts, Lois Duffy’s Studio and Showroom, Seedboat Center for the Arts, and Silver Spirit Gallery.  The winners chosen from these entries are as follows:

Best of Show Tad Van der Weele Memorial Award – $ 1,000:  Elements in Fractal, Kelsey L. Jordan of Pinos Altos, NM
Second Place Award – $ 750:  Standing or Carrying, Marilyn Andrews of Plainfield, MA
Third Place Award – $ 500:  All Together Now, Stephanie Osser of Needham, MA
Tile Heritage Foundation Prize – $ 200:  Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, Idris Kabir Syed of Kent, OH

Syzygy Tileworks Purchase Prizes:
 Green Crab, Maria Matthews of Blue Hill, ME
 Secret Life of Trees, Carrie Martin of Tallahassee, FL
 Snake Totem, Ellen Stakes of Harrisville, RI
 Harpie in Red Hat, Penny Brogden of Berkeley, CA

Blue Dome Gallery at Bear Mountain Lodge Purchase Prizes:
 Flicker and Strawberry, Cory Winn of Vashon, WA
 Oven Bird, Maria Matthews of Blue Hill, ME

The winners of the Juried Neo-Mimbreño 2012 Exhibition, currently on display at the WNMU Museum through September 5, were announced at the Museum's Black-on-White Gala on Saturday evening, August 4.  The exhibition, co-curated by artists Diana Ingalls Leyba and Beth Menczer, showcases the recent creative efforts of artists throughout the Southwest Region, as influenced by the extraordinary painted pottery of the prehistoric Mimbres culture featured at the WNMU Museum.

The esteemed juror of the Exhibition was Dr. Harry J. Shafer, currently professor emeritus of anthropology at Texas A&M University, who conducted long-term field investigations at the NAN Ranch Ruin in the Mimbres Valley. The NAN Ranch Collection was recently "brought home" to Silver City and is now on exhibit at the WNMU museum.  Dr. Shafer also participated in the Clay Festival as a lecturer, delivering one of the most popular presentations entitled, Classic Mimbres Pottery: Technology, Function, and Symbolism. The winners of the Juried Neo-Mimbreno 2012 Exhbition are:

Best of Show - $650:  Ancient Lightening, Sandy Amazeen
Second Place - $250:  Mimbres Geometric, Judy Menefee
Third Place - $100:  Birth of a Goddess, Susan Berry
Each of the winners also receives a signed copy of Dr. Shafer's book, Mimbres Archaeology at the NAN Ranch Ruin.

The Silver City Clay Festival thanks all of the artists who participated in the event; and, as Mr. Ratinoff said,  “… everyone is going to go home knowing that he has won an award: the award of being an artist and making art that brings beauty and joy to the world."  A complete list of artists participating in the two juried shows is available on the Clay Festival website at:  www.clayfestival.com, including images of all the submitted entries on the website blog.

The Silver City Clay Festival was the brainchild of Lee Gruber, who, with husband David Del Junco, is the co-owner of Syzygy Tile. Syzygy Tile evolved because they said, “We can do this.” She said it again and the worldwide popularity of the Silver City Clay Festival, a festival celebrating the Love of Clay, has just begun.

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