Art Association Annual Honors Show

They’re called the “best of the best,” and their works of art are featured in the juried Annual Honors Show at the St. Augustine Art Association through June 30. The exhibit of new pieces by previous award-winning artists opened during the First Friday Art Walk on June 7, with a ceremony to recognize the artists’ latest achievements.

Charles Dickinson was honored with the $500 Jean Wagner Troemel Best in Show Award for his oil painting, “Lost Amongst the Trees,” a vibrant Impressionist style landscape. The piece was described by the judge, Amy Freeman, as a fine example of how the energy of the region and artist are intertwined and expressed in a powerful way.   

Xi Guo, an internationally acclaimed watercolor artist won the prestigious Emmett Fritz Painting Award for “Luminous No. 2.”  Emmett Fritz was a prominent painter who captured iconic scenes of St. Augustine during the mid-20th century.  He produced over 10,000 oil and watercolor paintings throughout his career, several of which are held in the Permanent Collection of the St. Augustine Art Association.

The annual Emmett Fritz award will now be given in perpetuity, thanks to the generosity of local benefactors and Art Association Life Members Don and Liz Robbins, avid art collectors who recently hosted the Evening in Amsterdam fundraiser that successfully raised $25,000 to sustain the award.

James Allen, pastel artist, earned the First Place award for “Evening Stroll Downtown,” a delicate Pointillist view of the Bridge of Lions. Donna Biggee of Atlanta, Georgia, won the Second Place prize for “Enlightened Afternoon,” an oil painting depicting the Ximenez-Fatio House gardens.  Third Place was given to Pauline Dickson for “Marsh Treasures,” a paper sculpture, and Photographer Dan Voellinger received Fourth Place for “Still Water,” a black and white image of the Santa Maria sailing ship replica.

Mary Rhopa La Cierra’s fiber vessel, “Remnant,” was given the Ted Karam Memorial Award for Best Sculpture. Honorable Mention Awards were presented to Roger Bansemer, host of the nationally televised PBS “Painting & Travel” series, Abstract Expressionist artist Jean Banas of New Smyrna, and Siv Spurgeon and John Roppolo, both professional artists of PASTA Gallery on Charlotte Street.

The St. Augustine Art Association is located at 22 Marine Street in the heart of the historic district. Admission to the exhibit is free for Historic City News readers.  The non-profit organization produces juried exhibitions monthly throughout the year. Past award winners are invited to participate in the Annual Honors Show.  More than 100 pieces in a wide range of styles, media and subjects make up the current exhibition, installed by a team of volunteers under the direction of Bill and Marcia Pappas.  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, noon to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Docent tours are offered daily. For information call (904) 824-2310 or visit