An Artist’s Playground
“Fabulous” was the word that was uttered repeatedly over the weekend. There was a vibrant hum of collective mirth, celebration, and creativity. The weekend started off with a bang – when over 200 members, guests, and public visitors gathered on Friday afternoon for the Spring Experimental Exhibition at Central Oregon Community College’s Barber Library. The magnificent Rotunda Gallery offered not only an amazing and lively location to showcase the artwork, but a spacious location for attendees to mingle, catch up with dear friends, and celebrate the winners. WSO President Rebecca Sentgeorge warmly welcomed the group and introduced us to Juror Vera Dickerson.
Saturday was filled with a variety of breakout sessions from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, while the Convention Center lobby was humming with enticing vendors, auction items, and merchandise. The “Inspiration Station” invited members to spontaneously create mini paintings.
Saturday evening was dedicated to crowning the achievements of so many in our organization: Spring Exhibition winners, People’s Choice Award winner, new Signature Members, and Merit Award recipients. Vera Dickerson took us on a journey through each of the prize-winning paintings and shared her thoughts on what made them worthy of attention.
The attendees at Sunday’s Business Meeting were treated to complimentary pastries and fruit prior to the always-entertaining executive committee reports and the raffle for prizes, which included original artwork from the Inspiration Station.
Vera Dickerson demonstrated the first stages of how she uses mixed-media collage. Beginning with a bright underlayer of acrylic paint, she then strategically applies bits of torn collage papers (created from scratch out of deli paper), paint, and stencils. The papers add texture, depth, whimsy, and color while the finished painting can include more acrylic paint, gel gloss, posca pen, and other mediums.
The whole weekend had a relaxed and comfortable feel and will be remembered fondly.
Mary Jo Vranizan, 2023 Convention Chair