All the Art

ArtsWest returns Eau Claire for year 38

Hillary Bell, photos by Andrea Paulseth

ARTSBEST. Of this year’s 150 entries, 50 works by 42 artists were selected for ArtsWest. TOP: Best of Show winner Anders Shafer and his “Artie” award. BELOW: Gail Schellinger’s Honorable Mention-winning painting.
ARTSBEST. Of this year’s 150 entries, 50 works by 42 artists were selected for ArtsWest.  Above: Gail Schellinger’s Honorable Mention-winning painting.

ArtsWest 38, a major juried exhibit for regional artists, held its opening reception and award ceremony on Feb. 23, at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire. David H. Wells, the Director of the Edgewood College Art Gallery and Collections, served as the juror for the expansive exhibit, which includes a wide variety of different media, including painting, photography, sculpture, 3D, and more.

After viewing the full exhibition in person, Wells selected four artists as the prize winners for this year, with Best in Show honors going to Anders Shafer, a professor emeritus of UW-Eau Claire, for “The Occupation.” First prize went to UWEC art student Lukas Carlson for “Carlos G. Garcia-Ruiz,” second prize went to River Falls artist Ann Lawton for “Chasing Sleep,” and third prize went to Tiffany Lange,” who’s based in Menomonie, for “Cookie Cutter.”

Each winner is awarded cash prizes and given an “Artie” – a statue that resembles an Academy Award – all donated by the Friends of the Library. Honorable-mention winners are also presented with cash awards.

Best of Show winner Anders Shafer and his “Artie” award.
Best of Show winner Anders Shafer and his “Artie” award.

This was ArtsWest’s 38th annual show, and altogether, 84 artists from 22 different communities submitted their work this year. Of the 150 pieces received, 50 works by 42 different artists were chosen to be displayed in the exhibit.

For nearly four decades, ArtsWest has brought some of the very best in artistic accomplishments and diversity. It has been an important collaborative partnership between the art community and the library.

The overall goal of ArtsWest is to “provide a venue for area artists to exhibit their talent and creativity, as well as the opportunity for everyone in the community to experience and support the arts in a unique and personal way,” said Rose Dolan-Neill, director of visual arts at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center.

“These shows are really important for the art life of our state of Wisconsin,” Wells, the exhibit’s juror, said in a speech during the award ceremony. “It helps us recognize what people are interested in, and expands the art dialog through the regions.”

The exhibit will be open for public viewing during the library’s regular hours through March 31, so stop in and show your support for some of Wisconsin’s own artists.


Winners & Honorable Mentions

Best of Show – Anders Shafer “The Occupation”
First Prize – Lukas Carlson “Carlos G. Garcia-Ruiz”
Second Prize – Ann Lawton “Chasing Sleep”
Third Prize – Tiffany Lange “Cookie Cutter”

Honorable Mention – Debra Ferries “Borrego Blooms”
Honorable Mention – Gail Schellinger “Struck by Lightning”
Honorable Mention – Mark Anderson “Artist Studio Apartment”
Honorable Mention – Mary Hermanson “Black and White Lace”
Honorable Mention – Sandra Starck “Miss Jenny Ren”
Honorable Mention – Daniel Atyim “Between the Mounds”
Honorable Mention – Mary Jo Fox “Three Sunflowers”