Awards of Merit in Holiday Small Works 2021

Written by Caroline Browne

The Copley Society of Art recognizes exceptional pieces from our Small Works exhibitions with Awards of Merit. The Copley Society Art Committee grants Awards of Merit to ten works of art that demonstrate exceptional presentation, technique, composition, and style.

Awards of Merit truly reflect the effort, talent, and skill of our artist members and we are proud to present them to our artists with every new Small Works show. From still lifes to scenes of Boston, abstract to realist pieces, the awarded works represent our diverse range of artist members.

The awards given out for Holiday Small Works 2021 are listed below in alphabetical order.

Pictured: ⁠Julie Beck, Daniel Sprick (Color Study), oil on canvas panel, 5 x 7"⁠

In addition to being a talented Co|So artist member, Julie Beck is also an Instructor and the Assistant Director of the Academy of Realist Art, Boston. She paints a wide range of subjects including still lifes, animals, and figurative works. The artist meticulously executes portraits and figurative compositions, which often start as smaller color studies – such as this study for a Mastercopy of a portrait by contemporary realist painter, Daniel Sprick.

Pictured: Cindy Crimmin, CA, Touches of Light, pastel, 12 x 12"⁠

Cindy Crimmin specializes in portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. For Crimmin, each of these genres informs the other, helping her to better understand the characteristics of color and movement. By painting natural forms, textures, and light, the artist becomes more connected to the world around her.

Pictured: Christy Gunnels, American Goldfinch, Self Portrait, oil on panel, 9 x 9"⁠

Christy Gunnels studies subtlety of color and form and uses what she learns from this research to create unique paintings for her viewers. The artist is interested in this experience between the artist and subject matter, and her body of work demonstrates her interest in careful observation and the artist’s interaction with each of her avian subjects. The cool background paired with the bright yellows of the American Goldfinch gives this piece the feeling of a studio portrait; the bird presented as an artist's model.

Pictured: Dave Kaphammer, CA, Barn and Shadow, oil, 10 x 12"⁠

Through his unique use of color and pigment, Dave Kaphammer's scenes seem to come alive, inviting the observer to linger for a moment and get lost in the scene. He frequently observes light falling on various elements and the shadows they cast, incorporating both of these elements into his compositions. The artist finds inspiration in warm low afternoon sunlight because this time of day creates drama and magic, provides form, and infuses a scene with emotion.

Pictured: Oana Lauric, CA, PRIDE, acrylic on canvas, 14 x 14"⁠

Stemming from the marriage of realism and abstraction, Oana Lauric's unique paintings depict depth and chromatic intensity. Her intent is to signal the power of our surroundings and hopefully raise expectations in their regards. ⁠The artist uses bold, painterly brushstrokes to create her bright and colorful compositions of cityscapes and architectural subjects.

Pictured: Janine Robertson, CA, Crest, oil on aluminum, 15 x 11"⁠

Janine Robertson specializes in painting luminous landscapes on aluminum and copper. She draws inspiration from the marshes, fields and shorelines of the New England landscape. The artist often begins her paintings en plein air and then completes them in her studio, allowing her to ensure a strong composition and explore the effect of light and time on the landscape. The luminosity of her delicately painted wave is enhanced by the aluminum substrate under her oil paints. The smooth surface highlights brushstrokes and texture, while adding an ethereal quality to her work.

Pictured: Rosalie Sidoti, Daisies, oil, 12 x 10"⁠

Rosalie Sidoti’s still life paintings are lush with texture and warmth. The artist balances light and dark values in a way that heightens the soft beauty of her floral subjects. Mixing realist and contemporary impressionist influences, she often incorporates filtered or splattered light with painterly brushstrokes.

Pictured: Joe Smith, CA, Sylvan Still Life, scratchboard, 11.5 x 9.5"⁠

Joe Smith’s artwork connects his lifelong enjoyment of drawing with his career as a forester and conservationist. Using scratchboard, the artist adds texture and depth to his natural scenes. Scratchboard — a two-dimensional, subtractive medium in which abrasive tools remove a surface layer to expose a contrasting layer underneath — allows Smith to emphasize the exquisite detail in his creations.

Pictured: Nancy Walton, Shadow Dance, watercolor, 12.5 x 10.5"⁠

Nancy Walton’s composition, comprised of soft hues and a simple subject, is remarkably detailed and delicately rendered. Walton’s representational paintings are notable for her use of light, often taking the mundane and creating something extraordinary. Primarily a watercolorist, she explores different subject matter and technique, depending on what she wants to achieve in any given painting, thereby constantly challenging herself.

Pictured: Mikel Wintermantel, CM, Thinking Big Series #2, oil, 11 x 11"

Mikel Wintermantel's small landscapes pack emotional drama through vibrant colors and alluring compositions. He is particularly fascinated by how lighting and luminosity affect a scene’s mood, and is keen on capturing the precise moment before the light disappears. The Copley Master frequently works on copper plates instead of canvas, as the metal below the oil paint illuminates the warm highlights and creates a dazzling effect.

You can see these award winners and many other fantastic works in Holiday Small Works, on view virtually and in the Co|So Gallery through December 24th!