Best in Show, top class awards announced for Art in the Heart

The official qualified opinion has been submitted and the top entries in six categories in this year’s Art in the Heart have been named including Best of Show. The Second Annual Art in the Heart show and sale attracted entries in each of six classifications including oils and acrylics, watercolor, graphics (pen and ink, pastels and drawings), fine art photography, sculpture and mixed media. The show and sale will be open to the public free of charge from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. All exhibits on display are for sale and 30 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Palace Theater restoration. The event will celebrate 34 artists from 16 cities across the state. Ninety-six pieces of fine art will be on exhibit. “Art in the Heart will give the community an opportunity to rediscover the wealth of local talent as well as view works from artists new to this event,” said event spokesperson Sherre Parker. “Two special awards will be given during the event, the Jacqueline Ruffin Best of Show Award and the Waldine Tauch People’s Choice Award.” Ruffin and Tauch were talented artists from the Brady community and were well-known during their lifetime. The Jacqueline Ruffin Best of Show Award was judged by Susan Mansell, a national award-winning artist from Ballinger and a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. Mansell exhibits her watercolors in both regional and national shows and presents workshops statewide. She was the winner of this year’s Best of Show at the Stars of Texas Juried Art Exhibit. This year’s Best of Show was awarded to Cindy Burden of Burleson for her terra-cotta sculpture of a young girl entitled, “I love my tutu.” The sculpture is dimunitive in size, but powerful in its effect. According Marsha Finlay, co-organizer of the show, the sculpture is set to be bronzed and only 20 bronzes will be cast. One has already been sold but orders can be placed for the remaining bronzes. Well-known local painter Frank Roddie was awarded the top entry in the oil and acrylics category with yet another outstanding painting. Brady native Leslie Ranne entered the top piece in fine art photography with a compilation of photos making up a barn. Teresa Wallace entered the best graphics entry with her drawing of “Heifers” while Carolyn Walker of Colorado City entered the top watercolor. Returning artist Kimberly Ringler Irvin of Arlington, the niece of Brady’s Mitch Van Horn, was awarded the first place spot in the scuplture cateory with her bronze deer “Woodland King.” Lohn rancher and multi-talented artist Mike Caldwell submitted the top entry in the mixed media class with “Spurs.” The Best of Show award is named in honor of Jacquelyn Ruffin, a McCulloch County native and ranch woman, who was a self-taught artist who used both pastels and watercolor to capture images from her heart. Her love of the land, nature and her family is evident in her works as well as her interest in Native Americans. A number of Mrs. Ruffin’s works will be on display at the art show. In her honor, the Ruffin family is making one of her works available for the show and sale. The Waldine Tauch People’s Choice Award will be voted on by the public during the event and will be announced Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. Guests who visit the show are encouraged to submit their votes to help recognize the artist for their efforts. Tauch was an internationally known sculptor who left Brady at an early age to study under Pompeo Coppini, an Italian sculptor in San Antonio. She was commissioned to do a number of large public sculptures in Texas including the statue of Douglas McArthur at the Academy of Freedom in Brownwood, the Moses Austin statue on City Hall Square in San Antonio, and the ‘Texas Ranger of Today’ statue in Dallas.

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