High praise from hometown heroes

Valued members of the Falls art community, Tom and Suzanne Shea accepted to serve as our guest judges for the 2024 Membership Show. 71 Guild members were invited to hang their works at the Art Lounge during the months of May and June. The Sheas visited the Art Lounge in early May to review the display and make their selections. At our May meeting on May 28, 2024, the Guild hosted a reception and awards ceremony where Tom and Suzanne personally presented awards to our artists.

Tom encourages artists to enter their work into shows. He advises that judging art is subjective, and you never know what judges will latch on to. The Sheas love talking about the nuances of people’s artwork and emphasized that all work has value. Their comments on the winning pieces illustrate that philosophy: commenting on what made their selections stand out and commending the artists on their strengths. Winning artworks were recognized with a special plaque placed next to the artwork for the remainder of the show and the artists received gift cards.

Both Tom and Sue Shea were instrumental in starting up the Guild. Tom retired from the Milwaukee Public Museum’s Exhibit Department where he worked for almost 40 years. Upon retirement, he invested his time in painting and has a studio in downtown Menomonee Falls. Sue taught art at St. Mary’s Parish School and is also retired. Sue helped to start the Guild’s Young at Art exhibit recognizing young talent in our schools. We appreciate their investment in the Guild and making time to nurture fellow artists in the community.

Our judges recognized these winners:

1st Place
“Flower Child of the Future” by Jerry Higgins

Tom and Suzanne emphasized the following about Jerry’s painting:

  • sci fi theme could overshadow that’s it’s a beautiful painting
  • painting technique is outstanding
  • perspective is accurate: large flowers in front, then diffused going back to horizon
  • uou look at it and you want to talk about it, tells a story
  • evokes same springtime feeling even though there’s a space person and spaceship

2nd Place
“Old Sea Traveler” by Mary Boettcher

Judges appreciated these characteristics of  Mary’s watercolor:

  • realistic, but at same time, stylized, providing an interesting balance
  • play of patterns alongside simplicity makes the piece dynamic
  • risk to leave the empty space is admirable
  • just pleasing to look at and likes the story-like title

3rd Place
“Woman in White” by Lisa Moore

In Lisa’s figure drawing, The Sheas recognized:

  • very accomplished rendering the human figure and anatomy
  • evokes sense of weight, accentuated by the resting posture
  • gently and simply captured form
  • overall has a nice relaxed, peaceful quality and feel

Honorable Mention
“Cannas in Bloom” by CarolAnn Rose

Tom and Suzanne loved CarolAnn’s watercolor:

  • the way CarolAnn chose to crop in on flower and the variety of shapes lend an abstract quality
  • mostly cool colors with just enough of warm green to complement, achieving a lovely balance
  • values achieved with watercolor is commendable

Honorable Mention
“Sun Spots” by Pete Zielinski

Our judges admired these qualities in Pete’s painting:

  • great atmosphere – peaceful, soothing
  • terrific light quality
  • sound composition
  • development of a consistent style, recognizable voice in his artwork

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