Don Long wins ‘Best of Show’ art award

Awards were announced Feb. 5 at the Artisans of the Southwest Gallery during the opening reception of the Community Art Show.

Dan Fitzpatrick played acoustic guitar and Cowboy Catering provided food. More than 100 patrons attended the show, which consists of thirty-seven pieces of art covering a broad spectrum of subject matter and media.

“The quality of art available varies from amateur to fine art, and a great place to start collecting,” said gallery director Wen Saunders.

Nearly half the artists were new to entering art shows. During the evening, Artisans of the Southwest Gallery awarded two juried prizes.

Don Long, of Pagosa Springs, received Best of Show ($75) for his digital black and white photograph, “The Master.” The image of artist Mick Gill was taken inside Gill’s pottery studio in Truth or Consequences, N.M. Late afternoon diffused lighting conditions created the desired effect, capturing the artist’s concentration on his craft.

The photograph was shot with a Canon 10D SLR Digital camera, 24-85 Canon zoom lens, with a Bogen monopod, and electronic cable release. Although the original image was shot in a color digital format, the image was converted to black and white for printing and final art purposes. Long also entered an acrylic with mixed media in the show, “Vibrante Rosso.”

Artists, photographers, and writers can be found on both sides of Long’s family tree. Born in Los Angeles and educated at University of California Long Beach, USC, Chouinard LA, and Laguna College of Art & Design. Living and working in Los Angeles for so many years, established a fertile atmosphere for the experience of art from all cultures and periods. A strong art environment of southern California shaped his keen eye for color and style. In 2001, he left the freeways of southern California behind and moved to the Four Corners area. He now divides his time between homes in Sierra County, N,M. and Pagosa Springs, where he and his wife, artist Susie Long, share studios in their secluded wilderness home.

“I finally have the freedom to focus on different mediums and work as a full time artist. I took the creative leap. I trust my art makes a very direct statement to your emotions and fills in the spaces.”

His true quest is to create powerful images and explore various mediums that move the viewer by pushing the envelope via the power of Adobe Photoshop, design and layout.

Dale Hentzell received Best Newby ($50) for his vibrant mixed media piece, “Life of Smiles. “

Hentzell, who recently moved to Pagosa Springs with his wife, decided to enter an art show for the first time, to support community art.

“His art reflects newfound playfulness of the media,” said show judge and Artisans of the Southwest artist, Sandy Applegate.

Visitors to the gallery can cast their vote for Peoples Choice Award ($175) until Feb. 13. The award will be announced at the gallery Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. Participating artists in the show include Lester Hawkins (mixed media), Linda Bennett (fabric art), Pam Boone (color photography), Don Long (b&w digital photography and acrylic with mixed media), Cutter Collins (color digital photography), Dale Hentzell (mixed media), Maria Kolpin (color photography and acrylic), TJ Reynolds (color digital photography), Karen Dannewitz (color digital photography), Katharine Frisbee (color digital photography), Leslie McGownd (jewelry, silver and stone), Rob Bridges (color digital photography), Brian Ambrosich (mixed media sculpture) and Linda LoCastro (color photography).

Photo courtesy Artisans of the Southwest Gallery
Don Long’s digital black and white photograph, “The Master,” received the juried Best of show award at the Community Art Show reception Feb. 5.