Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Virginia Beach Boardwalk Show 2007

This is the second year I perused the now famous VB Boardwalk Art Show. In it's 52nd year there were about 300 exhibitors and it has to madding for even a Good Judge to evaluate all the Art. Certainly there is no shortage of talent;- some sold well, some didn't sell and many Good Artworks received no recognition at all. From my conversations most of the sales seem to be local but what of the tourists in and on a Boardwalk end-to-end with Hotels. It would be a Good Idea for some of these Hotels to really push the notion of coming to the Beach for that Weekend and buy Art. (We all know you can swim). In particular there are some World Class Artists who would be worth the flight and lodging to Virginia Beach;- really. If you buy a Painting or Sculpture for $3,500.00;- hang it on your Wall for 3 years - you have the joy of it for less than $1.00 (one dollar a day).(Sound like PBS) - The next 10 years of enjoyment are absolutely FREE and in time 'the Art' can be a Family treasure or maybe 'a ticket to ride' - if the Artist hits the Big Time.Onward Irregardless
My Top Ten Favorite Artists from this years Show:
1) A.E. LONDON: "I love an Artist that can Draw... and Annie can draw the pants off a Gorilla! Traveling on frequent Trips to Africa, London breathes life into each and everyone of her Animal subjects. The Elephants, Gorilla's have pathos, personality and the Lions, Tigers, Giraffes are real;- Not Photographically - but Real through the imprint of the Artist (who when she runs out of paint, in the Bush, uses Coffee- no Judging recognition - HELLO-Wake-up and smell the Starbucks Judges!See More:


2) Li Wang: 'Wang can Paint',- he has lush painterly style producing marvelous Still Life's'. Painting in Oil the actual surface of the canvas is as compelling as the picture. An observer of Rembrandt and Vermeer, Li Wang pays great attention to light, the depth of dark and the surface of the object. I.E. a fruit is a fruit and it feels completely different from a ceramic jug. A great achievement of technique, observation and virtuosity.Judging No Flag for WangSee More:
Li Wang

3) Fredy Staal: Fredy is an Artist who relocated to Richmond from the Netherlands. At the Boardwalk she showed her well conceived abstract bronzes. Staal works her shapes something in the manner of Henry Moore or Barbra Hepworth, both good company for inspiration. The casting is done locally (thank God for that) and by a family of sculptors and founders who I have known of for more than 30 years. The sculpture shapes interact and flow by the sculptors touch; the Wegner Foundry provides first rate lost wax casting and beautiful organic patinas.Fredy's work could translate well to the Monumental.No Flag for Fredy-a Judging loss..
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Fredy Staal

4) John Costin: A Print can be a work of Art;- John does hand Etching, meaning he works (draws with a sharp tool) directly on a metal plate which is coated with an acid resist. When the drawing process is done, which I can't explain briefly, the plate is inked and rolled with paper through a hand press. These graphics are in color requiring multiple plates and pressings; after that Costin hand colors each Print. The results are beautiful and rich images.Judging: CAC Trustee Award- See More:

John Costin

5) Tom Radca: Architectural Ceramics is Radca's art form and he brings to this ancient craft Art in a big way. There is so much process, technique and unbelievable manipulation to arrive at one of his wall pieces that they are much more of a symphony than a song. Happily, Tom reported good sales in the four figures and was honored with a Sand Dollar Award. Perhaps his grand circular wall hangings shaped the Judges award.Judging: Sand Dollar Award
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Tom Radca

6) David Cochran: It's not often that painters dare paint groups of people in complex settings as Cochran does and does it well. There is a picture of him below with (or in) one of his paintings. I guess the photo says it all because the painting is so well executed that you really don't notice that David is not part of the painting. No Juried mentionSee More:

David Cochran

7) Mauro Pozzobonelli: Mauro is a Sculptor classically trained in Florence and has produced large architectual wall hanging of scenes in high relief. They are colored, cast in hydrocal with fiber resin and are a product that demands considerable skill from a variety of disciplines in that relief lies somewhere between drawing and sculpture and requires the artist to understand how to trick the eye. Beyond that each work is individually pulled from a master mold, so they are signed in editions and then hand painted. The results are colorful, free-form scenic images from around the world.No Judging recognitionSee More:

Mauro Pozzobonelli

8) James A. Skvarch: Etchings;- Skvarch is another first rate engraver but he takes you out of the everyday into his own mind. Even scenes of Rooms or Boats have his own input. They are all inviting and tell a visual story you could listen to each time and find something new and different. James' fantasy etchings encompassing machinery from past centuries are remarkableJudging: Sand DollarSee more:

James A. Skvarch

9) Ed DiCamargo: Artisan;- Saying DiCamargo is an Artisan is to bring to that term it's highest achievement, when the craft becomes art. Working with gemstones, granite and marble Ed combines these materials in functional forms, whether it be a table or floor medallion, they are all rich in natural gemstone colors and meticulously executed. Judging: Award of HonorSee More:
Ed DiCamargo

10) Joseph LaPierre: could be called;- the Beach boy that painted instead of sang- LaPierre's palette knife paintings are perfect for an outdoor show by the beach,- the motifs, the color and texture of each painting are joyful. But, don't be fooled, the ease of this work comes through years of study and talent to spare. In a conversation I learned Joe had been doing the Boardwalk Show for about 20 years always selling successfully. He wondered what happened to little lady painter Ruth Laakso who he had seen every year;- and about Ruth will be my final entry.No Judging recognitionSee More: http://

Joe LaPierre after completing painting above

Ruth Laakso was one of the early exhibitors to the VB Boardwalk Art Show and this June would have been her 44th consecutive show meaning she only missed the first 8 and that was before Ruth and George Laakso relocated from Florida to Virginia Beach to own and run the Studio Gallery which in it's time was the largest Art Gallery south of Washington. George was a prolific sculptor who peppered the local landscape with his inventive sculptures. Both exhibited at the Show for years. George passed away in 1981 and Ruth after a lengthy hospital stay died this April. On June 29th Ruth would have been 88 years young. Her concerns in the hospital were that the stay was conflicting with her painting; - And oh yes, she was to be at a dear friends Wedding on Saturday, the Best Selling Day for the Boardwalk Show. "Couldn't you reschedule the Wedding"? - Ruth innocently requested. That is the Art Spirit and one that we will miss. Thanks Joe, We nearly overlooked Ruth contribution to the Boardwalk Show and that just would have been a damn shame!

RUTH LAAKSO, Impish to the End, "I just want to make a few Good Paintings".
Learn more about the Laakso's at the link above.
Thanks for visiting,
Bill Osmundsen