Annual Judged Guild Members Show
Our Guild Members are the lifeblood of the 29 Palms Art Gallery. This all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 Guild was started by eight artists in 1951-2, the permanent Gallery space was opened in 1963, and it continues to be operated and supported by Guild Members today.
Our valued Guild Member Artists are invited each year to a group exhibition that fills the Gallery space for a judged exhibition. This year's judge, Monica Lynne Mahoney, was truly challenged to pick only a select few for the cash awards since the quality of art throughout this exhibition was so spectacular.
Monica Lynne Mahoney | 2016 Judge
Monica Lynne Mahoney is an artist, educator, and curator of public programs that emphasize the relationships between art, culture and ecology in the natural and built environment. Mahoney’s interest in art and ecology began in Flagstaff Arizona, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture with a minor in botany from Northern Arizona University. Her creative practice includes a spectrum from object-making to place-making with select clients/projects from the Philadelphia Museum of Art Sculpture Garden to the the “Two Rivers” Salt River-Pima Maricopa Tribal Government Campus in Scottsdale, AZ and Master Plans of the Tozan Japanese Garden + Tea House and the Southwest Forestry Sciences Complex in Flagstaff, AZ. Recently returning to her California roots, Mahoney developed award winning public engagement programs at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA. Los Angeles County recognized her for her Green MOAH Initiative, a public engagement program that utilized art and environmental education as a catalyst for living creative, sustainable lives in the western Mojave desert. Additionally, she managed MOAH’s partnership with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Antelope Valley Art Outpost project, a creative place-making initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Council. She enjoys yoga and meditation, hiking, and painting and is thrilled to have recently joined the Mojave Desert Land Trust team as the Director of Programs and Community Initiatives.
During the artwork selection in this years judge exhibition, Monica noted, "The work was selected to reflect the diversity in the use of materials and methods and how it speaks to the breadth of creative expression inspired by the high-desert environment. The range of works and mediums that identify with the desert context is impressive, while others are more true to pure shape and form. Some of the works are colorful and commanding, while others are refined and quiet, and there is no doubt that where we live—this incredibly powerful and fragile place—has a deep effect on the artistic production taking place here in the high desert. Every work of art in this show deserves recognition. Art-making is one of the most essential and necessary acts of the human spirit. It was an honor to jury this show."
1st Place: Anne Lear (collage landscape)
This imaginative and compelling piece works on many levels: it is both whimsical and skillful in the use of print-ad and mixed media textures which create a dynamism that reads powerfully from a distance while pulling one up-close and into it’s varied horizons. Stand back, way back, the sky itself is a wonder! Move close, real close, this piece ignited the greatest curiosity of all the works in the show because it took risks with the landscape genre and is a skilled and humorous choice of textures and materials reading both as form and realism.
2nd Place: David McKenzie (abstract painting)
This piece is a refreshing and well-executed addition to the canon of geometric abstraction. The artist’s sensitivity to perfection is well noted here; this approach to hard-edged painting kept me coming back for more –a calming and dynamic gateway into pure form, line, color layered over subtle texture.
3rd Place: Penelope Benson-Wright (ceramic)
Simply said: there is nothing better than a well-made pot. This piece in particular demonstrates the potter’s skill and relationship to clay, a sensuous and mighty material that every ceramic artist knows has a mind of its own, especially Raku. It achieves a lovely relationship between the soft horizontal lines of wood against the abundance of the vessel’s form.
Martha Villegas (Oil on canvas)
A proficient interpretation of traditional expressionistic and romantic landscape painting that has a contemporary presence. I can hear the artist’s voice in this work, it speaks through her talented relationship with the paint, with the movement in each brush stroke, the color palette and the mood of place.
Bill Dahl (b&w photo)
It captures the beauty and revulsion of the life and death of place; and the intensity of human impact on the land, even while the land is reclaiming it. It is balanced between strong content and compelling form.
Douglas Oliver-Smith (painting)
This painting has a quiet strength; a delicate, latent power that skillfully plays between figuration and abstraction. On the surface it is a handsome and skillfully presented work, but it is the moody and psychological wonderland that earns this painting its recognition.