Doubles seemed to be the name of the game for a celebration Sunday, with a pair of sponsors, double winners, a duet of counties, and even a theme with two names.
Three artists earned double awards for the juried exhibit “El Camino Real — Highway Through History.” Their work was shown along with other selected art during “Art in the Adobe,” the second annual celebration and fundraiser for the historical landmark, Rancho Nipomo Dana Adobe.
Sponsored by the Nipomo Arts Council and the Dana Nipomo Adobe Amigos, the event included booths featuring artists and other vendors.
Allan Hancock instructor and gallery director Marti Fast chose the art for the exhibit and selected the winners.
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Best of Show and First Place in Photography went to Sandra Harris, a Nipomo photographer who showed her work for the first time. Her double winning “Chapel of the Madonna” was taken at the Old Mission Santa Ines Church. Santa Ynez is the southern end of the range of subjects for this show, which runs north to San Luis Obispo County.
Harris’ self-confidence has yet to catch up with her photography skills. “I honestly don’t think that I’m that skilled yet,” said the novice photographer who has been taking photos for three years.
Although she’s been involved with making hooked rugs, those were from patterns. “I can’t really draw or anything like that,” said Harris. But she has avidly earned PhotoShop and printed her entries into the show on her large printer.
The mission shot was unusual in that Harris doesn’t normally shoot interiors or buildings, preferring birds and animals. Taking up photography has literally been an eye opener for her. “Before I started photography, I never looked at all the wonderful nature around us,” said the grandmother who has lived in South County since 1994.
Another double winner is Sheila Underwood, whose rendering of a cypress tree, “Coastal Abstraction,” took First Place in Silk. She also earned First Place Watercolor for her matilija poppies titled “Moondancers.”
“I paint those every year when they come out,” said the 26-year Nipomo resident. “They’re all over my neighborhood.” Although she picks a few of the native plant’s large blossoms as models, “I could probably do them from memory.”
Unlike her watercolors, which may start with a sketch or random blobs of color, for her silk paintings, “It’s a whole different ball game,” Underwood said, as once the paint is on the silk, it stays. She also applies full colors to the silk, rather than pre-mixing. “You get much different results.”
The retired interior designer who grew up in West Nebraska had no art training in the parochial school she attended.
“They could hardly afford pencils,” she recalled with a laugh. “They taught the 3-Rs.” Underwood made up for that by taking numerous art classes, including yearly workshops. “It keeps me excited,” she said, then acknowledged, “I’m always excited.”
Yet another double winner was Mark Geller, for “Robles de Arisal,” which took Judge’s Choice and First Place Oil.
Taffy French-Gray’s “Family,” earned First Place Pastel, and John Card’s watercolor “A Welcome Sight” was picked for Best Thematic Interpretation.
One more award will be announced today, after exhibit attendees vote for “People’s Choice.”
And to keep with the unintended doubles theme, all winners will be exhibited for a second time at the Betteravia Government Center in Santa Maria June 13 to Sept. 9, through the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.