North Carolina artist Russell Yerkes won Best in Mainsail and $10,000 at the 33rd annual outdoor arts festival, held Saturday and Sunday. Judge Budd Harris Bishop, director emeritus of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at University of Florida, singled Yerkes out for his densely painted watercolors that "gave him technical challenges. But in the end, it wasn't just the technical skill, it was the outcome, the visual daring, the element of wonder his work produces," Bishop said.
Yerkes recently won an award from Sunshine Artist, an arts festival trade magazine, for the poster he created as Mainsail's Featured Artist in 2007 using his signature style of massed animals that meld into colorful, graphic patterns.
Other Mainsail winners
Awards of Excellence, $1,500
Sue Archer, watercolor; Ummarid Eitharong, mixed media; Ken Orton, oil/acrylic; Edward Holland, photography; Gael and Howard Silverblatt, jewelry; John Costin, graphics; Jean Yao, fibers; John Bayalis, watercolors; Patricia Karnes, jewelry; Dick Cunningham, photography.
Awards of Distinction ($750)
Ken Jensen, ceramics; Albert Zimmerman, wood; Gert Olsen, sculpture; David Hunter, graphics; Kim Koch, jewelry; Victor Baisley, wood; Susanna Spann, watercolors; Randy Polk, jewelry; Charles Gatewood, oil/acrylic; Jennifer Townsend, graphics; Chuck Boux, glass; William Kidd, ceramics; Marya Dabrowski and Tom Thompson, jewelry; Brian Murphy, oil/acrylic; Jon Smith, oil/acrylic; Charles Parkhill, sculpture; Duncan McClellan, glass.
Awards of Merit ($500)
Elaine Hahn, oil/acrylic; Stephen Schatz, oil/acrylic; Lee Jones, metal; Marius Moore, photography; Paul Montecalvo, photography; Charles Nalle, ceramics; Richard Howell, photography; Meredith Wenzel, glass; Skip Ennis and Joan Michlin, jewelry; John Krieger, watercolors; Das Lanzilloti, jewelry; Carol Napoli, oil/acrylic; Katrin Wolf, jewelry; John Mascoll, wood; Bernard Kindt, oil/acrylic; Carolyn Currie, oil/acrylic; Herion Park, fibers; Steve Friedman, wood; Beau Tudzarov, digital; Sally Cahill, oil/acrylic.
Purchase Awards ($200)
They are not part of the judging but money given by local sponsors who select artists for them and buy a piece of their artwork.
Paul Albritton, jewelry (The Mahaffey Company); William Kidd, ceramics (Anthony J. LaSpada, P.A.); John Costin, graphics (Wells, Houser & Schatzel, PA); Duncan McClellan, glass (The Vineyard Inn); Michael Braun, digital (Fred & Monika MacFawn); William Cantwell, graphics (Alice June Graphics); Maureen and Gary Shull, jewelry (Douglas C. Buchan & Associates).