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Open to interpretation

“Aspects of Love,” a juried exhibit at the Paso Robles Art Association, drew a range of interpretations -- prompting the juror to remark that the theme wasn’t even apparent in some entries.

As a result, the show was tricky to judge, said Bruce Everett, noting that he occasionally let the titles influence his selections even when the technique needed improvement.

The artist and retired art professor from Templeton had no quandaries, however, in selecting the first- and second-place winners. Everett said he felt that Peggy Jansson's and Jim Tyler's photographs were excellent in clarity, theme, technique and “the extra quality in good art that goes beyond words.”

Jansson traveled to Colorado for her “Prairie Prayers” and has since got received some mileage from it. The photo won Second Place Best of Show in last year's Beacon Art Show at United Methodist Church.

The scene portrays an angel statue in a graveyard, the prairie in the distance. Jansson said the Rocky Mountains were behind her as she captured the wintry scene. “It was a straight shot,” she said. “I didn't really have to do much with it.” Because of the snow, granite statuary and tombstones, she said, the color shot looks like a black-and-white photo. “I actually added a mixed filter in the sky” to provide some color and make it look magical, she added.

The photo fit the exhibit's intent. “The shape of the angel's wings was in a heart,” the San Luis Obispo photographer pointed out, “and the bench had hearts around it.”

For second-place winner Tyler, brotherly love fit the bill for his winning shot. “Brothers” shows two elongated shadows, stretching vertically in the late-afternoon light, nearly touching a stand of trees. “I kind of like the symmetry,” said Tyler, a pastel painter and photographer from San Luis Obispo. The shadows are of him and his brother, visiting from North Carolina on his 50th birthday. The two camped at Big Sur to celebrate and share some quality time when Tyler took the photo. “We try to get together every chance we get, which isn't too often,” he said. The brothers are very close, Tyler said. “There's a country between us, but, yeah, we're tight.”

For his third-place selection, Everett was drawn to Sandra Thompson's collage, “Volcanic Love.” The juror said its sensuality and complexity related to the theme in a non-specific way, “perhaps in the category of passion.”

Honorable mention went toMelinda T. Martin's photo, “Enduring My Love, My Heart is Set in Stone.”

Other entries included Sally Tippman's watercolor of a family, Kay Eichert's oil, “Up Lovers Lane,” Sandi Heller's pastel “Love Those Spring Flowers,” and Rosey Rosenthal's gouache “Sad Dancer,” reflecting his love of the female figure.

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