Local artists win awards in Mid-Southern Watercolorists exhibit

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published March 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
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Carol Rolf/Contributing Photographer

Carrie Waller of Cabot won the Gold Award at the Mid-Southern Watercolorists 44th annual juried exhibition on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. She received the first-place award for her painting Celebration.

LITTLE ROCK — Several artists in the Three Rivers Edition coverage area have won awards in the Mid-Southern Watercolorists 44th annual juried exhibition.

The exhibition is on display in the Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. There is no charge to view the show, which will continue through April 6.

The winners include the following:

• Carrie Waller of Cabot won first place and the Gold Award of $1,750 for her painting Celebration.

“I’m ecstatic to win the Gold Award for MSW,” Waller said. “I was welcomed with open arms by MSW when I moved here, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the organization. There are so many wonderful paintings in the exhibit, I know the juror had a tough job. I’m so happy to be in the company of such fantastic artists.”

Waller said her prize-winning painting was “inspired by a series of paintings that I did based on childhood memories.”

“I painted several paintings with canning jars that remind me of my time with my grandmother. My previous paintings did not have a lot of color in them in comparison to Celebration.

“For Celebration, I put tea lights in my Mason jars before I photographed them and then saturated the colors when I painted the still life. With all of the warm, lively colors, I wanted the viewer to be excited by the joy and fun in the piece.”

Waller also had another watercolor, Going Green, accepted into this year’s show.

Waller has a degree in interior design from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She began painting watercolors several years ago when she and her husband, Brian, lived in Germany, where he was stationed with the Air Force. He is being reassigned to Japan, and the family will move there this summer.

Waller received the Jacquelyn Kaucher First Timer Award in the 2013 juried exhibition.

• Margaret Harrell of Mountain View won third place and the Bronze Award of $800 for her painting Past Tense.

She also received her Signature status, meaning she has been accepted into five MSW juried exhibitions.

“I’m very excited about the award and about the Signature status,” Harrell said. “This is something I’ve been working for.

“MSW is a great group of people, and this is always a great show,” she said. “I’m pleased to be a part of it.”

Harrell said the painting is of a sight she saw as “we were driving about 70 miles an hour down a back road in Texas.”

“I kept yelling at my husband, ‘Slow down, slow down,’ but he never did.

“I just set my camera on a fast shutter speed and let it go,” she said. “I take a lot of pictures from the car.

“This was a pretty desolate spot in west Texas, and that building was all that was left. It just appealed to me.”

Harrell also had a second painting accepted into this year’s show. It is titled The Sentinel and depicts a bird.

“I paint a lot of birds,” she said. “In fact, I’m working on one now of a hawk that I photographed. It had a snake in its mouth. I was standing right under the pole where it landed. I quickly photographed it. I wear my camera like a necklace.”

Harrell has been an artist for more than 40 years. She said she always wanted to be an artist and grew up in a family of artists, always having their support. She was raised in Dallas and has a bachelor’s degree in art from Harding University.

Harrell won the President’s Award in the 2013 MSW exhibition.

• Karlyn Holloway of Austin won the Presidents’ Award of $510 this year for her painting Jenny.

“It’s so exciting to have won this award,” Holloway said. “I was shocked.

“I have been a member of MSW for eight or nine years. This makes the fourth time I’ve been accepted into a juried show. I have one more to go, and I will have earned my Signature status.”

Holloway said she is a full-time artist. She has an associate degree of fine arts from Arkansas State University at Beebe. She has also taken art classes at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

Originally from North Little Rock, she is a graduate of Pulaski Oak Grove High School.

“Oil is my main medium, but I also do watercolor and charcoal drawings,” Holloway said. “The painting in this show is of my mother, Jenny Holloway. She’s the sweetest person there is.”

Holloway is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists and the Women Painters of the Southeast. She will be the featured artist in April at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Art Galleries in Little Rock.

• Sandra Marson of Jacksonville won the Penco Company Award of $300 for her painting Study in Green.

“I was surprised that I won an award,” Marson said. “It’s tough enough just getting in the show.”

Marson describes her prize-winning painting as “nonrepresentational” or “abstract.”

Marson said she became a member of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists in 2008, the same year she retired after a 35-year career as a senior distribution designer with First Electric Cooperative.

“I drew where the power lines would go, long before we had GPS,” she said with a laugh.

Originally from Jacksonville, Marson graduated from Jacksonville High School. She said it would be several years later, “after my kids went to college,” that she would go to college herself. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1991.

“I worked and went to school,” she said. “I wanted to be an art major, but at that time, you would have to take six hours to get a three-hour art class, so I majored in English. I have about 30 hours of art; I took whatever was available.”

“I’ve been painting for a long time,” she said. “I also take workshops whenever I can.”

Marson has been accepted into the MSW juried show for the past three years. She is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists, the North Central Arkansas Artist League and the Missouri Watercolor Society, as well as the Arkansas Arts Council’s Artist Registry.

Other local artists with works in the Mid-Southern Watercolorists exhibition include the following:

• B. Jeannie Fry of Cabot with her painting Imagination;

• John E. Keller of Searcy with his painting Landscape Langshan Mountains, China; and

• Anne K. Lyon of Cabot with her painting Teapot Pageantry.

The Historic Arkansas Museum is at 200 E. Third St. in Little Rock. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call (501) 324-9351.

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