2021 State Watercolor Exhibition
By David Josselyn
The pandemic may bring many negative thoughts to mind, but for some, it has been a boon. Such is the case for the Gilpin County Arts Association and their enchanting exhibit space in historic Washington Hall of Central City. Numerous art exhibitions and shows have been cancelled in the last year due to lack of socially safe space to exhibit. Washington Hall is uniquely structured to allow almost fifty people to comfortably mingle, so when the Colorado Watercolor Society was looking for a new place to house their annual juried exhibition, Gilpin Arts took up the call; and now, the exhibit hall is filled with amazing watercolor paintings. The 30th Annual Colorado Watercolor Society State Watercolor Exhibition in 2021 features renowned artist Stephen Quiller as juror. Quiller works primarily in water media using watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and casein in his work and has galleries in Taos, New Mexico and Creede, Colorado; however, he may be better known in the art world for inventing the Quiller Wheel – a color wheel for painters. The Quiller Wheel utilizes only colors rated as lightfast by the American Standard Trade Materials Association which have a high permanency rating ensuring the colors painters use will last.
More than $3,000 is awarded to artists not only for the top three, but also eight awards from specific entities such as the Evergreen Center for the Arts, and the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society. The winners and all the other works selected for the juried show, from the abstract to the “I swear it was a photograph” real, are proudly displayed in Washington Hall. Best of Show was awarded to Rosemarie Lohnert for “Dawn” which features five hummingbirds feeding on beautiful blue flowers. Second Place is awarded to Theresa Shepherd for “Sun Tea;” a life-like painting of jars of tea slowly brewing in the sun.
The 2021 State Watercolor Exhibition will be displayed in Washington Hall through May 24th and they are open Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. You can all see all the award winners virtually through YouTube; search “Colorado Watercolor Society 30th Annual state Show in Gilpin Arts Galleries” or go to the Gilpin Arts Facebook page for a link. All submissions are available for purchase. However, virtual viewing just does not compare to seeing the works up close and personal in Washington Hall; a visit would be well worth your time.