Come support local artists

SWAA’s Annual Art show

Cynthia Sheeley
Posted 5/23/23

The Southeast Wyoming Art Association (SWAA) opened its Annual Art Show on Saturday, May 20 in the Platte Valley Community Room with a reception and critique to welcome artists and members of the community.

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Come support local artists

SWAA’s Annual Art show


TORRINGTON – The Southeast Wyoming Art Association (SWAA) opened its Annual Art Show on Saturday, May 20 in the Platte Valley Community Room with a reception and critique to welcome artists and members of the community. 

“We want to thank everybody for coming and entering work in our art show,” SWAA President Jane Dorn told the audience. “We meet here in this room on the fourth Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. If any of you would like to come to a meeting, you don’t have to be a member to come.”

The membership to become a part of the SWAA is only $10 a year.

The art show will be going on all week and end on Saturday, May 27 at noon. Each day the show will open during the bank’s hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The members of the SWAA welcome everyone to come and have a look around and enjoy all of the artwork. The event is free. Many of the pieces are also available for purchase. 

Visitors can purchase raffle tickets to be entered to win one of many pieces of art that have been donated by SWAA members. They can also write down their favorites and enter the piece in the competition for the people’s choice award. The drawings will be done on May 27 before the show closes.

The judge of the show was Sue Milner. Dorn explained that Milner taught at Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) for 30 years before she eventually retired.

“It’s really very stimulating to judge an art show,” Milner said. “You wouldn’t believe what it’s like to look at art and try to decide which things are really unique and positive and see which ones need improvement. My whole philosophy as a teacher was to try to help people be the best artists that they could be in whatever medium and whatever subject they wanted to do.”

“This was a very interesting art show because there are things here that are different than things, I’ve seen in the art show before,” she continued. “So, I really enjoyed getting to experience and look at the things that were really different.”

During the opening and artist’s reception, Milner provided a critique of the artwork entered into the show and an explanation for her judging decisions. 

“Being a judge is really quite subjective,” Milner told the audience. “It’s hard to be careful that you don’t let the things that you like in art override the qualities that are important. I always try to look for things like shadows, perspective and points of view. Things like that are a little bit less subjective and a little bit more objective.”

Throughout her critique, Milner gave her thoughts and suggestions on what in her opinion would make improvements in many of the pieces. While she recognized that her suggestions may not be in line with the artist’s goals and vision, she also encouraged them to at least think about what she said. 

Entries for the art show are divided into three different divisions. The divisions are children (up to 12-years-old), teens (12- to 19-years-old) and adults (19-years-old and up). The adult division also has separate categories for amateurs and professionals. For each division, there are several different categories for different mediums, including, oil and acrylic, watercolor, drawing, other media, sculpture and photography.

In the children’s art category, Cayla Tayor’s “Mamma Blue” won first place and Natalie Cross’ “The Space Kitten” won second. 

In the three-dimensional sculpture category, Karen Fisher’s “Instinctive Journey” won first place, MaryAnne Smith’s “Just Because Bridge” won second place, Orin Young’s “Humming Bird” won second place and J.A. O’Connor’s “Stardust” won second place. 

In the photography category, Joanell Peters’ “Sunset in Mitchell” won first place, Cynthia Sheeley’s “Calvary Horses” won first place, Joanell Peters’ “Mitchell Old Barn” won second place and MaryAnne Smith’s “Easter Basket” won third place and the Judge’s Choice award.

For the other media category, John Cummings’ “Stained Glass Milt-Red” won first place and Jane Dorn’s “Night Barn” won second. In the drawing media category, J.A. O’Conner’s “Joellynn” won first place. 

In the watercolor category, Jane Dorn’s “Three Sisters” won the Best of Show award. For the oil or acrylic category, D. Closs’ “Take Over” won first place. 

Many local merchants provided merchant awards, in the form of gift certificates, to the entries of their choice. 

The Torrington Office Supply chose Cayla Taylor’s “Mamma Blue” and Joanell Peters’ “Cowboy at Rodeo.” Heartland Embroidery chose Natalie Closs’ “The Space Kitten,” D. Closs’ “Take Over” and J.E. Hoover’s “Wolves.” The 307 Grill chose Karen Fisher’s “Instinctive Journey,” Orin Young’s “Humming Bird,” Joanell Peters “Mitchell Old Barn” and MaryAnne Smith’s “Verde Bayou.” 

The Town Square chose MaryAnne Smith’s “Just Because Bridge.” Subway and McDonald’s chose J.A. O’Connor’s “Stardust,” J.E. Hoover’s “Wolves,” MaryAnne Smith’s “Geldingaclalir Fagraclalsfi,” Orin Young’s “One Quiet Century” and Cynthia Sheeley’s “Barracks at Fort Laramie.” 

Main Street Market chose Joanell Peter’s “Sunset in Mitchell.” Pinnacle Bank chose Cynthia Sheeley’s “Calvary Horses,” Don Reed’s “The Grand,” Orin Young’s “Peaceful Reflection” and John Cummings’ “Stained Glass Arch.” Vandels Drug chose Cynthia Sheeley’s “Calvary Horses” and Orin Young’s “Moose Bath.” Century Lumber chose Jane Dorn’s “Night Barn” and J.A. O’Conner’s “Joellynn.” 

First State Bank’s awards were given to Jane Dorn’s “Three Sisters,” Cynthia Sheeley’s “A Cowboy’s Day” and Karen Fisher’s “Calming Colors” and “Stingray Glide.” La Familia Prada’s went to D. Closs’ “Take Over,” J.E. Hoover’s “Horses in Brown” and Orin Young’s “Flower.” 

Deacons award went to Don Reed’s “The Grand.” Arby’s award went to Orin Young’s “Moose Bath” Bronco Grill chose John Cummings’ “Stained Glass, Blue,” and the Bread Doctor chose MaryAnne Smith’s “Profusion.”