Backus Museum Announces Award Winning Art for the 'Best of the Best' Annual Juried Exhibition
Fort Pierce - Monday October 9, 2023: The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery has announced the accepted works of art and award winners for the 2023 Juried Art Exhibition The Best of the Best.
A jury panel of three independent judges voted to accept 61 entries out of 274 submissions in four categories: Oil/Acrylics, Watercolor, Varied Techniques, and Three-Dimensional. A total of 22 awards were conferred to distinguished examples in each of the four entry categories.
A debut viewing at the Season Opening reception was held this past Saturday, October 7. The exhibition is now on display to the public through November 10, 2023 at 500 N. Indian River Drive in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce.
The Backus Museum is the home of the Treasure Coast’s longest continuously held juried art competition, now in its 42nd year. Entries must be made within the past 3 years, and never been entered in the competition before. Each year the independent jury panel inspects and assesses each physical entry in person, finding and rewarding excellence, technique, and presentation. As part of its longstanding tradition of encouraging working artists, the Museum awards cash prizes to these most distinct and effective works. Since 2017, the Museum has awarded more than $27,000 to reward and support the vision of exemplary artists.
Among the top award winners are:
Best of Show: Nuts (oil on canvas) by Angela Leggio
Director’s Choice: Vanishing Grove #61 (acrylic on Masonite) by Marylou Mullan
First Place in Oil/Acrylic: Reminiscing by Anna Jo Vahle
First Place in Watercolor: Corkscrew Palm by Therese Ferguson
First Place in Varied Techniques: Where Am I? Are You There? by Dawn Miller
First Place in Three-Dimensional: Work in Mahogany by Jack Shelton.
A complete list of awards and all accepted works of art can be downloaded at https://backusmuseum.org/juried-shows.
As always, visitors to this year’s The Best of the Best can have their own voices heard by participating in the People's Choice award during the exhibition. Visitors may vote once on the one work of art that is their favorite, and at the end of the exhibition the artist will receive this special award honor with cash prize.
Information on the 2023-2024 Season’s exhibitions and growing list of supporting Season Sponsors can be found at https://www.backusmuseum.org/2023-2024
JUDGES FOR THE 2023 THE BEST OF THE BEST
NANCY BAUER DILLEN, Art Professor Emerita, Eastern Florida State College, Melbourne: Nancy Baur Dillen graduated from Florida State University with an M.A. in Art Education and Constructive Design. While at EFSC, she expanded the art program and taught a variety of courses that included drawing, figure drawing, painting, advanced painting, watercolor, acrylics, two-dimensional design, art history 1 and 2, and the business of art. She has been a guest lecturer, juror, exchange instructor, and art consultant both nationally and internationally. After 35 years of teaching, Dillen retired. She is now painting on a full-time basis, creating art for public places, exhibiting, and conducting workshops locally and nationally. Nancy’s paintings and drawings are exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the US and Canada.
KRISTIN HERON, Senior Curator of Exhibitions & Education, Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens, Ormond Beach: Kristin Heron is a visual artist, museum curator, and arts in health facilitator from Ormond Beach, FL. Throughout her career, she has shared creativity in museums, schools, hospitals, and book illustrations. Heron has worked at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Music from Rollins College and an Associate of Science in Graphic Design Technology from Daytona State College. She attended the Arts in Medicine summer intensive program at UF Health Shands, and volunteered at the hospital during the program. In her artistic practice, her primary mediums are acrylic paint, charcoal, and collage.
MEAGHAN KENT, Curator of Exhibitions, Art & Culture Center, Hollywood: Meaghan Kent completed her M.A. in art history at George Washington University, Washington, DC and her B.A. at the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the Founder of Site95, an organization that holds exhibitions in available spaces including Locust Projects, Abrons Arts Center, and public outdoor spaces in Miami and New York. Kent was also a gallery director for the past fifteen years where she managed the careers of internationally emerging and established artists and coordinated exhibitions locally and worldwide. Her exhibitions have been reviewed in Frieze, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Gallery Monthly, The Miami Herald, and The New York Times.
Schedule: The Museum opened for the 63rd Season on Sunday, October 8 with regular hours Wednesday – Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM; Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 PM.
Admission is $5 per person; AARP, AAA, and Veterans with appropriate ID receive a $2 discount. Students with school ID, children under 18, active duty military, and current members are always free. Visitors are asked to follow the latest public health guidance for the safety and comfort of guests, staff, and volunteers.
The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery is a community-based, 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts institution that relies on your support. Contributions during these challenging times will lessen the financial impact on the Museum, and can be made securely online at www.BackusMuseum.org/donate. Gifts can also be made as an ongoing monthly donation, as a way to extend contributions and provide steady support through uncertainties. For more information, please visit www.BackusMuseum.org.