CONWAY Charlotte Rierson of Fairfield Bay has achieved another honor in what she often refers to as her “art spirit journey.” She received the Best of Show award in the Conway League of Artists Fall Show, which closes Friday at the Faulkner County Library in Conway.
“I was so excited to get Best of Show,” she said. “It was a big surprise. There were so many great paintings in the show this year. I have been in the competition before and won in a category, but not Best of Show.”
Rierson won the award of $500 for her painting Beyond My Garden — Greers Ferry Lake.
“The show’s theme was to paint something Arkansas-related,” she said. “I live in Fairfield Bay, and my home is on a bluff. I wanted to bring viewers into the painting and beckon them to go in my backyard garden and through the vista to Greers Ferry Lake. I started the painting a couple of months ago and finished it in late September, painting on my deck.”
Originally from Jacksonville, Rierson and her husband, Don, moved to Fairfield Bay in 1992 after he retired from the Air Force. She taught dance arts for two generations and received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, where she majored in art education. She trained in museum management and was a volunteer docent at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.
She has exhibited artwork in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.; and in the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, the Clinton Presidential Library and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, all in Little Rock, as well as throughout the state. Her work can be found in permanent private and corporate collections.
In addition to being a member of the Conway League of Artists, Rierson is a signature member of the Arkansas League of Artists, president of the North Central Arkansas Artist League and a past president and signature member of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists. In 2015, her work was selected for the online registry sponsored by the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.; her work remained in the online exhibit for two years.
Rierson coordinates the North Central Arkansas Art Galley at the Fairfield Bay Conference Center, where her work is often displayed. Her work has also been selected for the 2018 Small Works on Paper exhibit, which is scheduled to open Jan. 4 at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock and tour statewide.
The Conway League of Artists Fall Show was judged by Kitty Harvill, who has dual residencies in the United States and Brazil and is an internationally known wildlife artist and signature member of Artists for Conservation. Harvill will attend the awards presentation, scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Friday. Members and guests are invited to attend.
The theme for the annual fall show was Arkansas: Its People, Flora, Fauna or Vistas.
Karen Samuhel of Greenbrier received the Rock Pond Solutions Purchase Award of $500 for a watercolor painting she titled Grazin’. A new member of the Conway League of Artists, Samuhel is a former schoolteacher, certified to teach kindergarten through the sixth grade.
“Not only am I a new member; I have only been doing watercolor since January,” Samuhel said, laughing. “I’ve been taking lessons with Sheila Parsons. This is my very first show to enter, and to have won a purchase award is amazing. I am so excited … very blessed.”
Winners in various categories were also named, with first-place winners receiving $100 each; second-place winners, $50; and third-place winners, $25. Those winners include the following:
• Coe Wilson of Morrilton, first place for her oil painting Daffodils.
• Nina Ruth Baker of Conway, second place for her watercolor painting Queen Annie.
• Hannah Malcolm of Conway, third place for her watercolor painting Dance of the Coneflowers.
• Parilee Croft of Conway, honorable mention for her oil painting Kindness.
• Holly Pilgrim of Conway, first place for her untitled piece of polymer clay sculpture.
• Virginia Potter Vredeveld of Conway, second place for her acrylic painting The Entertainer.
• Don Byram of Conway, third place for his untitled photograph.
• Emily Hill of Damascus, honorable mention for her oil painting Sheila/Arkansas Artist.
• Sheila Parsons of Conway, first place for her acrylic on canvas painting Petit Jean Falls No. 4.
• Karen Freeman of Conway, second place for her acrylic painting Beaverfork Lilies.
• Mary Ann Stafford of Maumelle, third place for her pastel painting Dusk Settles In.
• Becky Oswalt of Conway, first place for her oil painting Curious Cow.
• Nancy Bryant of Conway, second place for her acrylic painting Fishing Buddies.
The Conway League of Artists Fall Show is open to the public free of charge and may be viewed during regular hours at the Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler St. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.