Up Close & Personal...Again

Bosque Arts Center's prestigious 36th Annual Art Classic Show & Sale opens with art patrons’ reception and awards dinner, runs through Sept. 25

CLIFTON – A family birthday dinner, a live concert and holding a newborn are all experiences that combine most of our five senses, rolling into one special, memorable moment. In spite of the advances in digital technology allowing for Facetime, Zoom and Skype, there are just some things that can only be experienced fully when you’re up close and personal.

The same thing applies to art. Art lovers want to see the true colors, view the depth and texture of the paint, smell the paint, feel the texture of a sculpture and hear the artist talk about their inspiration and process. Taste may be the only sense that does not participate in art appreciation, unless you get a “taste” for a certain piece that reaches you at a deeply personal level, and you become hungry to possess it.

The Bosque Arts Center 36th Annual Art Classic Show and Sale in Clifton opened last weekend with an art patron reception and awards dinner. All those involved in the art show and sale – the Art Council, the art patrons, the artists and volunteers breathed a sigh of relief that they once more could get up close and personal with the beautiful and meaningful art. Because of COVID-19 restrictions regarding social gatherings, last year’s show and sale had to be held exclusively in a digital format online.

“We are so very glad and grateful we can have a live event this year,” BAC Art Council President John Linn said in his welcome at the Saturday evening Awards dinner and ceremony. “The art just comes alive with all the vibrant colors, details and textures up close.”

Currently in its 36th year, the prestigious juried and judged Art Classic has become synonymous with outstanding original art – especially western art and is open to all artists who create realistic and representational art. For the artists, the show is an excellent way to increase their name recognition.

“I really appreciate what the BAC does for the arts,” said Show Judge Tyler Crow, who entered the show himself eight years ago, a budding artist back then. “It is always a great show, with great people that support it. It is a blessing to us artists. Judging this show was not easy. The art was of high quality and every selected piece was beautiful.”

“I hated last year,” BAC Art Council Founding Member Joyce Jones said in her annual speech. “We could not honor the artists and our patrons like we would want to. We are so lucky to be here tonight, surrounded by art.”

Jones reflected on the “what ifs” in life. What if she hadn’t met her husband of 68 years? What if they hadn’t gone to a cowboy artist show in 1971 with James and Mary Ellen Boren? What if she hadn’t become friends with Joan Spieler – the visionary and founder of the BAC? What if Spieler hadn’t convinced Bruce and Janie Greene to move to Bosque County? What if James Boren hadn’t run into Martin Grelle that day at the tank station? She was acknowledging all the people that steered her and her husband Roland’s onto the path to falling in love with art, enriching their lives beyond imagination.

“But we are here, bigger and better than we ever thought we could be,” Jones said. “All because of you, the patrons, the artists. You make it all happen. ”

And not to mention the support of the show’s long, long list of sponsors whose generous donations provide the monetary prizes, and the show catalogue.

Two newcomers to the show, Dana Lombardo and Thomas Tankersly hit the jackpot on their first time to the show. Oklahoma’s Lombard is having a successful season with pieces winning awards in other shows also. Her Cheyenne Morning – capturing the early light in warm yellows, golds, and ochres – depicting a Native American mother and her daughter cooking over an open fire won the prestigious John Steven Jones Award and received silver in the highly competitive Oil/Acrylic category. The canvas will become part of the Ronald Jones Memorial Gallery collection at the BAC.

Winner in the oil/acrylic category was Fulshear’s Jean Olliver – no stranger to the Art Classic – with her “Mexican Sugar Bowl and a Donkey.” According to Show Judge Tyler Crow, the blue and white vase, the overall composition caught his attention, as well as the vibrant colors in the cloth and how the cloth folds captured the light. Besides adding to her name recognition, another success was that three of Olliver’s four pieces in the show sold on opening night.

Coming to Bosque County from California this spring and entering the Art Classic proved very advantageous to Thomas Tankersley, who won the special New Entrant Award and silver in the sculpture category with his stage coach sculpture “Journey’s End.” The intricate detail, the different patinas transported viewers to the desolated spot in the prairie where the stage coach succumbed to the bumpy, dusty trail.

Waco artist David Anz entered the Art Classic for the fourth time this year and was awarded the Boren-Selvidge Award for his “Boulder River” – a Montana landscape in dark blue hues and white froth of the running river, pinkish cream canyon’s rock with muted green of the tall pine trees in the background. The special award is sponsored by Mary Ellen Boren and family in memory of her late husband, and one of the Bosque Seven, James Boren, Cowboy Artist of America and her brother, the late James Selvidge. Boren’s daughter Nancy is also an artist, and helps with the selection of the winner for the award.

“We both really liked that painting.” Nancy said. “It had the lovely loose painterly quality of brushstroke my dad loved and he painted rivers in Alaska early in his career. The colors were rich also, just an all round wonderful piece!”

Another regular to the show, Reg Narmour from Lubbock, received the Art Patron’s Purchase Award. His “Be Home Soon” faded turquoise fishing vessel, with a cargo belly full of catch, chugs towards the home harbor in the deep oranges of setting sun behind a wisp of clouds. The piece will become part of the BAC’s permanent collection.

  • John Steven Jones Award - $5,000 provided by Roland & Joyce Jones in memory of their son
    • Dana Lombardo, Guthrie, OK with Cheyenne Mornin
  • Art Patrons Purchase Award - $1,000 plus purchase price sponsored by the BAC Art Council
    • Reg Narmour, Lubbock, TX with Be Home Soon
  • New Entrant Award - $1,000 sponsored by Don & Belle Berg
    • Thomas Tankersley, Valley Mills, TX with Journey’s End
  • Boren-Selvidge Award - $1,000 sponsored by the family of James Boren
    • David Anz, Waco, TX with Boulder River
  • Gold Medal Oil/Acrylic - $1,000 sponsored by Bill & Betty Murdoch
    • Jean Olliver, Fulshear, TX with Mexican Sugar Bowl and a Donkey
  • Silver Medal Oil/Acrylic - $500 sponsored by John Linn
    • Dana Lombardo, Guthrie, OK with Cheyenne Morning
  • Gold Medal Drawing - $1,000 sponsored by Peggy Sue Reed
    • Cali Roberson, Escalon, CA with Above the Fray
  • Silver Medal Drawing - $500 sponsored by Don & Belle Berg
    • Cindy Long, Sylva, NC with Young Cowgirl from Wild Horse Creek
  • Gold Medal Water Media - $1,000 sponsored by Phyllis Gamble & Mechelle Slaughter
    • Olivette Hubler, Dallas, TX with Desert Glory
  • Silver Medal Water Media - $500 sponsored by Lee & Leanne Donner
    • Reg Narmouer, Lubbock, TX with Be Home Soon

Take the opportunity to see all these amazing works of art up close and personal in the coming two weeks. Fall in love with one, purchase it, take it home and cherish the feelings it stirs every time you lay eyes on it. The show is arranged in several of the BAC’s tasteful gallery rooms and will be on display free to the public beginning Sunday, Sept. 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Weekday hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., while Saturdays Sept. 18 and 25 the exhibit runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  

The judged pieces of original art in the categories oil/acrylic, drawing, pastel, water media, and sculpture can also be viewed in the online gallery at www.BosqueArtsCenter.org. The online sale for the Classic is open from Monday, Sept. 13 until Saturday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. Visit the website for more details.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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