Winter art season welcomed with pushed horizons and provoked emotions at art galleries in Columbia.

New galleries for winter give artists of different experience opportunity to show work.
Cait Campbell / Graphic Designer

The artists of Columbia have had many opportunities to showcase their work and to push themselves to a higher level this winter.

Columbia is now home to many new gallery openings during this winter season, some that feature contests, such as the “Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Holy Virtues” themed contest at the Columbia Art League.

The art gallery openings for this season have artists ranging in various levels of experience. Disregarding the skill level, the galleries display different styles from the artists and different types of artwork, from fiber pieces to statues made only of paper, like the ones shown in the Davis Art Gallery at Stephens College.

Regarding the theme for the gallery at the Columbia Art League, CAL volunteer Caroline Elliot said the pieces that exemplified the theme and worked outside of the most obvious frame of mind resulted in the best and most salable entries.

“The theme allowed people to think outside of the box and to expand horizons, which are always good to see from an artist,” Elliot said. “I could see that some entries explored with the theme, which took time and effort that people liked, that would help some of the pieces to sell, which is always a good thing.”

The winner of the CAL competition was Lynn Graznak Saults for her wire sculpture named “Baba Yaga Dances,” with second place going to the fish sculpture “More Please!” by Julie Youmans.

Local high school student Theresa Whang won the “Emerging Artist” award for her paintings, called “Attachment” and “Veiled Desire.”

The win meant a lot for Whang because it can now show to others that “Veiled Desire" in particular is more than painting. It is in fact a figure painting series that tied in well with the deadly sins and virtues theme because of its hidden meaning about chastity and lust, Whang said.

“'Veiled Desire' is part of my figure painting series that express a psychological conflict that late adolescents sometimes have,” Whang said. “They are about to embark on a journey to a new world, which they have dreamed of, but they also have a fear of expressing where they want to go and what their dreams are because they do not have enough confidence in themselves yet.”

The Perlow-Stevens Art Gallery on 1025 E. Walnut Street shows a variety of items that represents average American culture and borderline surrealism along with displaying air blown vases and jewelry. The pieces range from the provocative like “Visit to Vatican” by Jeanne Pascale to the massive and bold “Modern Cave Painting” by Kevin Ritchie.

When looking for pieces to put in her gallery, Perlow-Stevens Art Gallery owner Jennifer Stevens said the quality and variety of pieces appeals to her and the four-person panel that decides which pieces will be shown and their feelings toward art generally.

“We put an emphasis on quality and finding a different medium of work that is done better and differently than the others,” Stevens said. “Our art gallery does not want people to see art as intimidation or sterile. We can people to come here who care about or want to care about art.”

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