Silhouettes of Labour
1st place
$5,000 Prize

"Silhouettes of Labour"

By: Abiodun Olaku

36" x 48"
While I am not a compulsive slave to the ‘isms and schisms’ of art, it is of deep passionate concern to me that my art communicates, and stirs the spirit of the viewer, irrespective of time and space, I operate with a strong reliance on the principles, theories, formulae, and spirit that have guaranteed the enduring strength and essence of true, evocative art. I try very hard to tell my ‘stories’ with some reasonably unambiguous conviction. Honesty of purpose always serves me a respectable portion of satisfaction, because I believe that every artist will ultimately submit to the supreme critique of time. Time always tells. Therefore, I tend to be insulated against the various contending forces that trail the contemporary art scene, since I believe they are mostly weak, short-rooted trends.

A message from the judges: OLAKU’s painting sees the beauty in nature presenting an expansive vision of a hidden underlying structure. Often times business requires one to look beneath the surface and uncover something that others do not see.

Self Portrait on Fire
2nd place
$2,500 Prize

"Self Portrait on Fire"

By: Eric Armusik

oil paint on birch
The painting is my self-portrait. A flame illuminates the left side of the painting, the torch of my career thus far as an artist and significant of the success that I have achieved. Unlike most artists I haven't had a career of representation. I have had to learn to be just as creative in selling my work as I have been in creating it. I have carved out my own niche in painting traditional subjects such as mythological, religious and historical subjects which were deemed by many of my colleagues as passe. I am a romantic realist at heart and I believe that good art can be transcending and can inspire others to celebrate a greater sense of life.

A message from the judges: Armusik’s painting shows great skill and invention in capturing a moment. It shows an artist's invention at representing something simplistic but with great depth. The work shows great understanding that only happens after many hours are spent at one’s craft creating a sense of masterful creation.

Truth: The Ultimate Risk
3rd place
$1,000 Prize

"Truth: The Ultimate Risk"

By: Danielle Dalechek

mixed media, acrylics, paints, photography
I feel like one of the things people mistake about art is that they use it as a disallusion, where everything has to be perfect. I thought it would be interesting to do a piece the opposite that highlights the flaws, the scars. To truly make it you have to give a piece of yourself, you get scared and flawed along the way.

A message from the judges: Are not grit, determination, and authenticety some of the characteristics of a person carving out their own path?