National Midyear art exhibition opens at the Butler

Staff report


Joseph Ryznar of Lower Burrell, Pa., won first place in the Butler Institute of American Art’s National Midyear exhibition for his acrylic painting “September: Flight of the Bumblebee.”

The Midyear, which opens today with a reception and awards ceremony at 1 p.m., is an annual juried exhibition of original work in all two-dimensional media, including oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, drawings, prints, photographs and digital works. Artists age 18 or older residing within the United States or its territories are eligible.

The juror for this year’s 81st annual exhibition was Sean P. McConnor, professor of painting and curator of art at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa.

For this year’s exhibition, the Butler accepted 81 entries from 76 artists residing in 11 states. It received close to 900 entries from 313 artists from 26 states.

A catalog of the works included in the exhibition will be available through the museum store, which is inside the Butler, 524 Wick Ave.

Louis A. Zona, director of the Butler, will present the prizes at today’s reception.

The exhibition will remain on view in the Beecher Court balcony and the Davis and Giffuni galleries through Aug. 20. The Butler is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

The other winners of the National Midyear include:

Second place: Allan Charles Orr, Youngstown, for “Lilly’s Beauty Marks” (oil).

Third place: Max Mason, Wynnewood, Pa., for “PNC Park, Pittsburgh” (oil).

Allied Artists of America Award: John P. Smolko, Kent, for “Len [Roofer]” (colored pencil). This award is given by the Allied Artists of America.

Phil Desind Award: Thomas McNickle, Volant, Pa., for “Listening to the Orioles” (oil). This award is given to an outstanding work and honors the late Phil Desind, longtime director of Capricorn Galleries of Bethesda, Md., which specialized in contemporary American painting. Desind (1910-1996) was especially devoted to the Butler museum.

Director’s Special Mention: David Dorsey, Pittsford, N.Y., for “Breakfast with Golden Raspberries” (oil/linen).

Honorable mention: Kathleen Carr, Rockville, Md., for “Ciara with Blue Damask” (oil/wood); David Herzig, Monclova, Ohio, for “Iris Ascending” (transparent watercolor); Jeff Morrow, Milford, Ohio, for “The Young Pianist” (oil); Joan Brechin Sonnenberg, Naples, Fla., for “Orbital Velocity” (etching); Judy Takacs, Solon, for “Her Beloved Pride” (oil); Ovid Osborn Ward, Edgartown, Mass., for “Cat Boat in the Fog” (acrylic); and Douglas Unger, Peninsula, Ohio, for “May Schlabach’s Garden, Charm, Ohio” (oil).

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