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ArtScape opening reveals prize winning artwork

Ella Forst stands next to her piece “Time Makes Me Sick.” She took honorable mention for the piece in the youth category of this ArtScape.

NEW ULM — The 14th Annual ArtScape opened Friday with a special reception at the Grand Center for Arts & Culture.

Each year, dozens of artists from across south central Minnesota submit art pieces in the adult and student categories for the ArtScape show.

The ArtScape show is different from most of the Grand gallery exhibits because it is a juried show. Awards are given for first, second, third and honorable mention in the adult category. In the student category, there is a first place and honorable mention award.

This year, Hillstrom Museum of Art director and senior curator Don Meyers chose the works accepted into the show and selected the winners.

Meyers said it was a difficult task to select a winner. He especially struggled with selecting the top student submission.

Local artist Caitlin Lang examines a fiber work by Susan Beck. Lang also had piece featured in ArtScape show. She said pieces at this year’s show were once again strong.

In the student category, an honorable mention went to Ella Forst for her mixed media piece “Time Makes Me Sick.”

The grand prize in the student category went to Synnove Erickson for a charcoal drawing called “Self Portrait.” The drawing depicts a forced perspective of Erickson reaching out to the viewer.

In the adult category, Wade Davis received an honorable mention for “Free Fall,” an etching print depicting a television screen playing an 8-bit video game.

Third place went to “Jembe” by Scott Markell. The watercolor painting depicts a set of hands playing the drums.

Second place went to untitled fiber art pieces created by Susan Beck. The wall hanging features detailed embroidery of birds and plants on black wool.

“Leader of the Pack” by artist Nicholas Schleif took first place at the ArtScape juried art show. Schleif piece depicted former Minnesota Timberwolves coach, Flip Saunders, through a series of texts and dots.

The Grand prize went to artist Nicholas Schleif for “Leader of the Pack”. Schleif’s painting depicted the late Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders. The image of Saunders was created using small dots that form text associated with the late coach. The piece was enclosed in a custom Timberwolf frame.

This is Schleif’s second ArtScape grand prize winner in a row. He won last year’s show for a portrait of Edgar Allen Poe. Schleif said he has a tendency to make portraits of those who he feels died too soon.

Schleif said one of the greatest challenges of the piece was creating the custom frame. It took weeks to make the wolf-head frame.

In addition to the awards given last night, a special People’s Choice Award will be given after ArtScape closes. Visitors to the Grand are allowed to vote for their favorite adult and student art piece. The votes will be tallied and the winner announced after the exhibit closes.

The Artscape exhibit will be open to the public through Friday, Dec. 23.

Each year, ArtScape include a category for students in 7th through 12 Grade. This year saw a dozen entries. This year’s art juror Don Meyer commented that the student division was the hardest to pick a winner.

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