IU East announces 42nd annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition awards, entrants

The annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition awards was held on IU East Facebook Live on October 23.

Originating in 1978 with open judging, the event has hosted prestigious artists and art experts of national acclaim for the jurying.

This year, the WVAC was all virtual including the jurying on October 16 and the awards presentation.

first place entry for WVAC exhibition is a fiber quilt that includes blue, white, churches and grape vines

The first place entry to the 42nd Whitewater Art Competition went to Barbara Triscari of Lebanon, Indiana, for her fiber art quilt, La Chiesa di Bolzano Vicentino.

Artwork was selected by this year’s jurors Kevin Harris, art professor at Sinclair Community College; Sarojini Jha Johnson, professor of art at Ball State University; and Jae Won Lee, professor of art at Michigan State University. The jurors determined the award winners.

The 42nd Whitewater Valley Art exhibit is on display now through December 31 at iue.edu/gallery/competition/2020.php.

The exhibition includes 76 pieces from 59 artists across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.

The exhibition is presented by First Bank Richmond.

About the Jurors
Kevin Harris teaches at Sinclair Community College where he has led courses in Drawing, Printmaking and Digital Media since the year 2000. Prior to coming to Sinclair, Harris held teaching appointments at the University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, the Art Academy of Cincinnati, The University of the Arts, Moore College of Art and Design and Lincoln University.

Harris earned a B.A. from Hampton University and an M.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati. He has also studied at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and frequently attends printmaking workshops at Making Art Safely in New Mexico. His work is included in the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum as well as in many corporate and private collections. He has recently been featured in solo exhibitions at the Dana L. Wiley Gallery, Dayton, Ohio, at the African American Visual Arts Guild (AAVAG) Gallery at Central State University-West, and at Sinclair’s Triangle Gallery where he presented MULTIPLY, an exhibition of four thematically intertwined bodies of work: MULTIPLY, Angels Tread, Dream Sequence and Urban Wordfare plus The Sticker Snatcher Books.

Sarojini Jha Johnson has taught printmaking and foundations at Ball State University since 1985. She grew up in Ohio and earned undergraduate degrees in French and drawing from the University of Cincinnati. She received an M.F.A. in printmaking from Miami University where she began working with animal and plant forms in her prints. As a graduate student in 1983, her work was accepted into the 5th Annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition. IU East is thrilled to welcome Professor Johnson back 37 years later, this time as a juror.

Her work places natural forms in a fictional context. Her main medium is color intaglio printmaking, a medium that allows for great creativity and invention in terms of surface and color. She has been exploring memories and impressions of India, her country of origin. Animal images such as fish and birds still emerge in this work. Johnson also makes artist’s books that present issues such as the effects of climate change on flora and fauna.

portrait of a woman

The WVAC Chancellor’s Purchase Award went to Shelby Alexander of Cincinnati, Ohio, for Not Your Ingénue, a mixed media piece made from graphite on paper, secondhand textiles.

Jae Won Lee received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in sculpture from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Fine Art in ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Lee is currently professor at Michigan State University and other institutes she taught at include Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camberwell College of Arts in London, the UK, and Chung Nam National University, Deajeon, Korea, California State University, Long Beach, and the University of Washington, Seattle.

Lee makes intimate-scaled, reductive, sealed porcelain box forms, as well as porcelain sculpture shaped by numerous small multiple components of nuanced whites and off-whites and assembled into a large singular unit toward conveying the idea of white winter as a place to contemplate simplicity, silence, and solitude. Recently she has been exploring and applying this theme on works on paper and mixed media. She has exhibited in numerous national and international exhibitions. Recent solo exhibitions include: Tag Ends, Lim Lip Museum of Art, Gongju, Korea, Jae Won Lee In Situ, Blanche with In Situ Galerie, Nyon, Switzerland, and Myosotis, Gallery Lee & Bae, Busan, Korea.

IU East’s 42nd Annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition Top Entrants
First Place ($2,000 award and a future solo exhibition at IU East)

  • Barbara Triscari, Lebanon, Indiana – La Chiesa di Bolzano Vicentino, fiber art quilt

Second Place ($1,000 award)

  • Chris Itsell, Johnstown, Ohio – The Fabric of Mortality, stainless steel and burl wood

Third Place ($500 award)

  • Al Harden, Cincinnati, Ohio – Inquisition, digital photography

Honorable Mention ($250 award)

  • Matthew Schellenberg, Farmington Hills, Michigan – Her Beauty Gained Her Everything She Had Ever Dreamt of…, wood (Cherry, Black Walnut, Ash, Cyprus and Goncalvo Alves) and steel
  • Danielle Rante, Dayton, Ohio – Tapestry, Cyanotype and colored pencil on paper
  • Austin Delano, Louisville, Kentucky – Factory to Table Fresh, wood (Poplar and Maple) and paint
  • Kathy Moore, Casstown, Ohio – Looking Down Upon Corner of Table Top, graphite pencil on rives
  • Yingqi Zhao, Lombard, Illinois  – Mom, copper, brass, fine silver, vitreous enamel, and stainless steel

Chancellor’s Purchase Award

  • Shelby Alexander, Cincinnati, Ohio – Not Your Ingénue, mixed media (graphite on paper and secondhand textiles)