On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Mayo Woman’s Club honored the winners of the 2012 Lafayette County Pioneer Days Art Show, which was held in the lobby of Lafayette State Bank on Saturday, Oct. 13 during the Pioneer Days festival in downtown Mayo.

Vikki Wilcox from the woman’s club had the honor of announcing some of the major winners at their special luncheon and three of them, Linda Partney, Ashlin Morgan and Judith Adams, were present to speak to the gathered crowd about their entries.

“We had 123 entries this year, which is up from last year,” said Wilcox.

A lot of the entries, she said, were new artists who had never participated before.

Sixteen-year-old Lafayette High School junior Ashlin Morgan won the People’s Choice Youth Award for her acrylic on canvas entry titled “The Nature of Old Florida”.

“I worked on it off and on for about six months,” said Morgan. “I finished it Thursday night before the show.”

In between all her other activities like school, preparing for college and just being a teenager, she figured she spent about one month total actually working on the painting.

Morgan said she has had an interest in art for quite a while, but it was when she was 13 or 14 and took an oil painting class at the library under the tutelage of the late Judy Bletard that really convinced her painting was something she wanted to do.

Morgan’s grandmother Supervisor of Elections Lana Morgan accompanied her to the luncheon presentation. It was clear by the smile on her face that she was extremely proud of her granddaughter.

Judith Adams of Luraville took first place in the watercolor category, as well as first place for the adult category Theme Award, which was “Farming in Lafayette County”.

Adams painted the scene Plein Air, meaning she painted it outdoors on location at a friend’s grandfather’s home. The hardest part, she said, was setting up the easel, which took her about 20 to 30 minutes. Adams and several other artists went to the home to paint together and work on their Plein Air skills.

 “It was just so nice that day was cool, there was no wind, so our papers didn’t blow, the birds were singing, and the moss was hanging on the trees,” she said. “It was just so much fun to paint. It was a perfect day.”

Adams said it was as if her feelings were transported to the canvas, which is one advantage of Plein Air painting. She said they started about ten o’clock in the morning and it took about two hours to paint. Then she took the canvas back to her studio to put on the final touches.

Adams has won many awards for her paintings over the years and it’s clear she enjoys what she does.

Willcox told her, “If you keep winning you have to become a member of the Woman’s Club,” which drew laughter from the crowd.

The Annette Croft Award-Best of Show was won by Linda Kay Partney for her 14K Sea Life bracelet. Partney owns Old Florida Company Coffee House/Gold N’Treasures on Main Street in Mayo, and she is a master goldsmith. She also won first place in the jewelry category.

The nautical display case holding her entry was nearly as impressive as the bracelet itself. Partney said she and her father made the case many years ago and its nautical design fit perfectly with her sea life bracelet.

When Partney explained the complicated and detailed lost wax casting technique she used to make the bracelet, she had everyone’s attention. It is the same technique used in making dental crowns, she said.

“I carved the individual pieces in wax, including the linkages, so each individual piece, once cast, already has the link portion on it, so it’s not like I soldered little rings on and hooked them together,” she said. “The only soldered connections to the whole piece are the centers of these bars that connect the back end. That way I’m assured it’s never going to break or wear out.”

The hardest part, she said, was getting all the sea life animals the right size in relation to each other. She alternated sand dollars and scallop shells for the base of the bracelet with eight different sea life creatures perched on top of them.

“Construction time on that piece was about 40 hours,” said Partney. “It was difficult to make, but I enjoyed it.

Willcox wanted to be sure to thank all the folks at Lafayette State Bank for their continued support of the art show each year and all the invaluable assistance they provide in getting the lobby set up for the annual event.

“It’s been a good partnership,” she said.

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