Carnegie Center for the Arts announces winners in 2024 Regional Juried Arts Competition

First Place: Anna Z. Ill – “Solastalgia: Demeter’s Grief” (Stoneware) | (Deborah Haak-Frost|Watershed Voice)

A crowd of art enthusiasts gathered at the Carnegie Center for the Arts Sunday to celebrate the winners of the 2024 Regional Juried Arts Competition and view the creations of over 100 artists.

Anna Z. Ill took home first place for her stoneware piece, “Solastalgia: Demeter’s Grief,” which features the bust of a woman. Describing her piece, she said, “Solastalgia is a word that has been coined recently for ecological loss. And psychologists have begun using that word, because there are a lot of people obviously that have sustained a great deal of [physical] loss, through the fires and so forth. But there are also people that are pretty flattened by the Anthropocene times where everything seems to be diminishing – not diminishing, but like disappearing.

And so, in a moment when I was feeling myself completely lost with the sorrow of it all, I felt like I wanted to make a piece with a woman and tears engraved in her face, because it’s beyond crying – what we do with the grief that we are experiencing with a loss. And, Demeter is the Greek goddess of the harvest and the mother of Persephone, her daughter who went down into Hades and comes back up. I felt like she was a good partner in making this piece.”

Donna Grubbs, Executive Director of the Carnegie, announced the winners of the awards at the reception Sunday and encouraged attendees to cast their vote for the people’s choice award.

Best of Show 2D: Mary Whalen – “Apple on a String” (Hand colored cyanotype/encaustic)

Best of Show 3D: Leonard F. Bosma – “Bouquet in Vase on Pedestal” (Wood turning)

First Place: Anna Z. Ill – “Solastalgia: Demeter’s Grief” (Stoneware)

Second Place: Lorrie Grainger Abdo – “Hidden Connections” (Monoprint)

Third Place: Cynthia Kennedy – “Chaos Gardens” (Acrylic)

Juror Award: Connie Kuilema – “On My Seawall” (Bead embroidery)

Honorable Mention: Shannon M. Dion – “Autumn’s Abundance” (Fiber)

Honorable Mention: Jeff Heaton & Theresa Heaton – “Oxbow Meander” (Mixed media)

Julie Tourtilotte served as the juror for this year’s competition and gave a statement highlighting the “broad variety of media from painting and photography to ceramics, woodworking, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture.” Tourtilotte said, “The diversity of media was paralleled by the range in artistic styles and expression. Viewers who come to the exhibition will be able to appreciate expressive abstract works alongside highly rendered realism. And they’ll be able to admire the wealth of very accomplished skills on display in the fine craftsmanship that can be seen in so many of the works.”

The exhibit will be on display through February 21, and the people’s choice award will be announced on February 22. The Carnegie Center for the Arts is open Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.