ST. PETERSBURG — Charles Parkhill, whose cerebral wood sculptures have been the subject of several exhibitions at museums and prestigious galleries, took the $10,000 best-in-show award at the 39th annual Mainsail Arts Festival on Sunday. He said he'll probably use it for a down payment on a new van, "but I'm not sure. This is such a shock."
But a good one, he said, adding that sales had been very good on Saturday, echoing affirmatives from other artists and Mainsail's chairman, Jane Ferguson.
Parkhill also won the best-in-show award in 1995, the first year he exhibited at Mainsail.
"We had an amazing day yesterday," Ferguson said. "Having it on Easter weekend seemed to help us, actually. There is a competing show out of state that moved its date, so we had a lot more artists apply, which meant that we could be even more selective in choosing them."
The skies are always a concern for the third weekend in April, but this year's weather was benign, with only a few light drizzles on Saturday, turning to a sunny and cool Sunday.
Katherine Pill, the associate curator of art after 1950 at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, was the 2014 judge, handing out 49 prizes totaling $60,000. (The Purchase Award winners are selected by individual and corporate donors to the festival.)
Of Parkhill's sculptures, she said, "They struck me as the most exciting work here. I loved the combination of old wood paired with Home Depot materials, the form, the stories behind the material."
Best of Mainsail Gold Award, $10,000: Charles Parkhill, sculpture.
Mainsail Silver Award, $5,000: Duncan McClellan, glass.
Mainsail Bronze Awards, $2,500: Stephen Ray, oil/acrylic, and John Mascoll, wood.
Awards of Excellence, $1,500 each: Oren Estell, Scott Hartley, Cheryl Mackey Smith, Rocky Bridges, Amy Carstensen, Susan Gott, Richard Auger, Lawrence Packard, Sandy Lent, David Fernandez.
Awards of Distinction, $1,000: Andy Smith, Chuck Boux, Mel Fleck, Nancy Cervenka, Michael Nemnich, Vince Pompei, Frank Strunk III, Larry Brown, John Bayalis, Scott Gamble, Erica Hall, Michael Thiele, Sandra Brewster, Scott Causey, William Kidd.
Awards of Merit, $500: Charles Hazelaar, Marlow Gates, Jason Brueck, Kathleen Hunt, John Kellum, John Furches, William Kwamena-Poh, Princy & John Fears, Lorri Honeycutt, Ernest Simmons, Janet O'Rourke, Larry & Sherry Paulsen, Renee Dinauer, Dave Bruner, Karyn Adamek, Z.L. Feng, Jon Smith, David McKirdy, Charles Gatewood, Ana Varela.
Purchase Awards, $200 (plus the purchase of artwork): ARTicles Gallery by Leslie Curran — Robert Lawarre; Anthony L. LaSpada, P.A. — Paul Montecalvo; Madeline McCarthy — Charles Rowe; Monika and Fred MacFawn — Kimberly Willcox; Terry and Ginny McCarthy — Paul LaMontagne; The Mahaffey Apartment Company — Russ Erickson; The Princess Martha — Andy Smith; Shapiro's Gallery – Scott Gamble; Sally and William Snyder — Robert Myrvall; Wells, House, Schatzel, P.A. — Gary Curtis.
Lennie Bennett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8293.