Hamilton, Ohio – Women made a clean sweep.
Jessie Boone of Cincinnati took the top prize of $500 in the 51st Hamilton Current juried art exhibition. The gallery show featuring 123 pieces by 90 area artists celebrated its opening and announced its winners May 6 at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.
Two other female artists rounded out the top three. Maria Velente-Hupp of West Chester took the $300 second prize with her sculpture itsumade, while Okeana artist Deb Jones won $200 and third place for Stalking, a four-panel batik work with procion dyes on cotton.
“I’m still flabbergasted,” Boone said after collecting her prize. “That I could win best in show in a show with this many artists and this much amazing art, I can’t even believe it.”
“Red Lipstick is part of a series of four based on the color red,” she said. “I’ve done yellow and orange, too, and two of the yellow ones are in the show, too. I have a lot more colors to do. I just started doing these at the beginning of the year, so I’ve been pretty productive. It’s exciting.”
Director of Exhibitions Cathy Mayhugh said both the technical and aesthetic quality of Boone’s work stood out.
“Jessie Boone’s Best of Show painting titled Red Lipstick is a stunningly beautiful rendering of a hand – an accomplishment that any painter will tell you is not easy,” she said. “Jurors were taken in by the quality of brushstrokes creating the realistic image and the depth of surface of the patterned negative space produced with spray paint and stencil.”
Boone said one of her favorite elements of the piece is a reflection of her thumb in the lipstick tube.
“There was something about that little detail,” she said. “That’s my hand in the painting, by the way.”
Several other artists earned honorable mentions from the judges: Cynthia Bornhorst Winslow, Allyson Coffen, Eric England, Leslie Getz, Mark Hanavan & Paul Loehle, Alice Kahn, Kate Santucci, Brandon Shank, Audra Shields and Neil Simak. All of the winning artists received Fitton Center memberships.
Mayhugh said the depth and breadth of the exhibition made picking honorees a challenge for jurors Andrew Au (an Associate Professor of Art at Miami University Regionals) and Mallory Feltz (Director of Exhibitions at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center).
“I am astounded by the diversity and strength of talent represented in the Hamilton Current,” she said. “This year’s highly inclusive jurors agreed, stating multiple times how difficult it was to narrow down their favorites for a limited number of awards. There is definitely something for everyone in this exhibition and it’s a great place for artists to find inspiration.”
The 51st Hamilton Current Exhibition runs through July 7. Galleries are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays. The galleries also are open when there are events in the building, including the final performance of the 2022-2023 season, Prohibition Murder, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20.
Take a look at some of the images from the Gallery Opening Celebration below.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture