Above / To heighten light-hearted awareness, the Naperville Art League is featured in the Century Walk mural titled “Naperville Loves a Parade,” located along Rubins Way, just off Main Street between Jackson and Jefferson.

The winners of the Naperville Art League’s 14th annual public art competition were announced at a reception held at the Naperville Fine Art Center and Gallery on Sunday, March 19.  The exhibit titled “#SillySeriousness,” caught the attention of regional artists of all ages who submitted work reflective of the theme.

Fifty entries, encompassing original work in a variety of media, were displayed and considered for the awards.

Artist Pamela Carron served as judge for this competition.  She had the difficult decision of selecting winners out of the 50 entries.  Prizes were awarded to sixteen individual winners.

Best of Show

Best of Show went to Patricia Melekus, “Rape of Europa,” Acrylic.

Awards of Excellence

Awards of Excellence were presented to Jeannail Carter, Too Many to Choose From,” Colored Pencil, Pen, Ink; Scott Harding, “Pumpkin Top,” Oil on Linen; and Gary Schirmer, “The Ripley Effect,” Oil.

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Cynthia Boudreau, “Bubbling Up,” Fiber; Marissa Burch, “Treehouse,” Mixed; Kathleen Geisinger, “Winter at Geneva Lake,” Photography; Tatiana Guarino, “Tatiana Guarino,” Oil; Beth Hobby, “Mask: Autoportrait,” Assemblage; Valerie Lorimer, “Her Life Was a Circus,” Mixed; Judy MacLeod, “The Sisters,” Mixed Media; Kevin Pranaitis, “Am I Brave, Daddy,” Photography; Sally Sharp, “Seriously?” Oil & Cold Wax; Judy Tucker, “Picasso in Piecing,” Fabric; Marita Valdizan, “Life as it Happens,” Mixed Media Wire Crochet; and Charles Williams, Jr., “Maze,” Acrylic.

“I was very impressed with the quality of artwork we received for our ‘#SillySeriousness’ competition,” said Debbie Venezia, Executive Director of the Naperville Art League. “Even more amazing is the depth of intimacy that the pieces exude.”

As a requirement of the competition, each artist included a statement, explaining why the piece fits the theme. These statements are then displayed; thus, giving the viewer a deeper understanding of the artist’s intention.

“Personal issues such as self-perception, spirituality, family, politics and love fill the gallery. You can feel the passion surround you and it becomes an emotional experience,” said Venezia.

“#SillySeriousness” runs through Friday, March 30.

Naperville Art League

Naperville Art League is located at 508 North Center Street, just off Fifth Avenue. (PN File Photo)

The Naperville Art League (NAL) offers hands-on art classes throughout the year for adults and children. The nonprofit, volunteer organization is sponsored by membership dedicated to promoting and supporting the visual arts as well as encouraging artists within the community.

The Naperville Art League hosts monthly themed art shows featuring original artwork created by members and all pieces are for sale. Each art show attempts to represent current local events, stylistic artistic elements, and the traditions of fine art representation while giving local artists a forum to exhibit their work to the community.

NAL’s Fine Art Center and Gallery is located at 508 North Center Street, just off Fifth Avenue. The gallery is open from noon until 4PM Wednesday through Friday and from 10AM until 4PM on Saturday.

For more information about the Naperville Art League, Membership, Rotating Displays, or the Naperville Fine Arts Center location, visit www.napervilleartleague.com or contact Debbie Venezia at via e-mail at naperartleague@aol.com.

Submitted by Debbie Venezia, Executive Director of the Naperville Art League.