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Artists place winning works on display at Ridgway

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By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Local artists continue to paint a picture of unique proportions in Bullitt County.

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The Visual Artists of Bullitt County (VABC) honored its own members via the 2011 All Members Art Show hosted by Ridgway Memorial Library.

As the visual division of the Bullitt County Arts Council, VABC works to make art accessible in the community and encourage individual participation.

Show chairperson Sharon Milliner said 23 entries were presented by 12 VABC members for the contest. Each entry was a two-dimensional art exhibit.

Artwork was judged by Connie Kuhn, an award-winning artist from Simpsonville and independent from the VABC.

“I was amazed at the quality of your work,” Kuhn said. “Entering a show is baring your soul so I congratulate those who did. Your community is richer and more beautiful as a result.”

VABC president Rebecca Mach mentioned that the contest pieces will remain on display at Ridgway through Sept. 25.

Mach handed out ribbons and monetary prizes for first, second and third place, along with two honorable mentions.

Lebanon Junction resident Karla Gruber took top honors with “LJ Feed and Seed,” a 16”x20” acrylic on canvas featuring the old feed and seed building in Lebanon Junction.

“A lot of my work I connect with historical things,” said Gruber. “Lebanon Junction is full of history.”

Gruber and her husband, David, have lived in LJ for 14 years. Gruber’s portrait was based on one of David’s photographs.

“He’s got an eye for what’s going to look pretty,” Gruber said.

In the photograph, Gruber said the particular time of day allowed the sunlight to enhance the picture, which in turn enhanced the portrait.

“It’s primitive and whimsical at the same tine,” she said. “I like to use bright colors. It was interesting light that day. It helped make it all stand out.”

Gruber earned an Art Education degree from Eastern Kentucky University and also honed her craft at Berea College.

She also credited former Bullitt Central High School art teacher Dennis Shaffner for assisting her art career.

Another former Shaffner student and Lebanon Junction resident took second and third place honors.

Tobee Taylor placed second for “Savannah,” a watercolor portrait of a young girl.

A pencil sketch specialist, Taylor admitted “Savannah” was her first attempt at a water color based portrait. She credited mentor Diana Colgate with offering color mixing tips.

Another pencil sketch, “Steve,” took third place. It was a sketch of Taylor’s husband.

Honorable mention went to Carole J. Powell for “Interested Gaze” and to Nancy Rausch for “Fences.”

The winning works will be prominently displayed among all other contest entries. Other VABC participants include Gail G. Bagwell, Jeannie Bailey, Linda Cheek, Lola Foley, Patsy Karr, Rebecca Mach, Sharon Milliner and Willetta Pat Steiner.

VABC meets on the fourth Monday of each month between April and October at Ridgway. Everyone is encouraged to attend. For more information call 543-7675 or visit www.bullittarts.org.