Cherry Valley Artworks has awarded first prize for its 2021 Sculpture Trail to Richard Pitts of New Albany, Pennsylvania, for his piece “Windy Ribbon.”
Pitts received a prize of $1,000 for his work, an eight-foot-high, bright-red piece, made of powder coated aluminum.
Second prize of $500 was awarded to Bruce Gagnier, a Brooklyn artist, for a series of powerful life size bronze figures, “Yrsa, “May” and “Red.”
The show’s judge, Ed Smith, a member of the National Academy and the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Gallery Director and Professor of Art at Marist College said judging this year’s contest was difficult.
“ The choice of awards was especially difficult as there were so many outstanding works,” Smith said in a media release. “The level of commitment, dedication and invention is visually impressive and gives great pause. I was particularly heartened by how the community of Cherry Valley embraced the work.
“There were many notable works that gave me a great deal to think about, such as “Lost Orchid” by George Hendrickson, “Introspection” by Liza Little and “Forte II” by Regiane Donadio, among the many. The quality and breath of the exhibition made the selection process very difficult but deeply moving.”
Smith said he was moved by the powerful statement made by Pitts in the winning work.
“The placement brings attention to the entire Sculpture Trail and this outstanding work sets a visual standard that elevates the entire exhibition,” he said.
However, Smith said he had a hard time choosing between the two finalists.
“Bruce Gagnier was extremely generous in showing three of his bronze figures, (YRSA, MAY, RED) which anchored the exhibition in history, artistic discipline and merit,” he said. “The dialogue these bronzes creates brings a sense of discovery as well as dignity to the Sculpture Trail. These remarkable works placed an extremely close second.”
The Sculpture Trail will continue to be on view along Main Street in Cherry Valley until Friday, Oct. 8. Maps are available at The Cherry Valley Museum and other Cherry Valley businesses.