Walthall garners top prize, earns solo show in 2018

Travis Walthall’s “Self Conscious Idiom No. 3” was named first-place winner at TASIMJAE 2017.

Lamar University graduating senior Travis Walthall placed first in TASIMJAE 2017 with his painting “Self Conscious Idiom No. 3.” Walthall earned a cash prize of $500 and a solo show in May 2018.

The show attracted 85 pieces by 48 different artists, with 65 pieces from 41 artists accepted by juror Dennis Kiel, director of the Dishman Art Museum.

“Anyone who has juried an exhibition knows that much depends on how one feels at that particular moment,” Kiel said in a statement. “Artists should, and most of them do, realize that the results are based on one person’s subjective opinion, and in this case, mine. If I judged the show the next day, I’m sure the results could/ would be very different.

“With that said, I was very impressed by the overall quality of the work submitted and excited to see how much artistic talent there is in Southeast Texas and the surrounding area. And there was a lot of it!

Art by Walter Siefford

“Although overwhelmed at first, I started to see a number of themes popping up (portrait, landscape, abstract, etc.) and began to eliminate work that didn’t seem to fit. I’m most interested in work that tends to stop me in my tracks, that pushes the envelope and might be considered risky, or is quirky enough to make me laugh. At this point, I got somewhat brutal and did worry for a moment that I was taking out too much. Finally I just stop. This is when I look around and everything appears to come together. I think being tired also has something to do with it.

“Thinking back, I realize I could and maybe should have used two days: one to look and absorb and another to do the actual jurying. In the end, however, I was happy with the way the exhibition turned out and thankfully, have no regrets.”

Second place was awarded to Lisa Reinauer for her painting “Barrier.” Third place was awarded to Anna Myers for “Porfe.”

Honorable mentions went to Craig Odle, Chance DeVille and Tom Vellion.

Story and photos by Andy Coughlan

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