Last week we attended the CPSA 18th Annual International Exhibition at the Art Museum of Los Gatos, California. This was my fourth acceptance into the annual show, but my first time attending the convention earlier in the week so that I could see the entrant's slide show and participate in the silent auction. I was really impressed by the quality of all the entries, and it was also very interesting to see the second piece submitted for artists who were accepted (you can submit two, but if accepted, only 1 is chosen). Having not been to the gallery yet at the time of the slide show, it was also fun to try and guess which of the two pieces were accepted, for artists that I knew were in the show. The slide show is presented in the much the same way that the awards are during the banquet; a reader projects the work on a screen, reads the title, artist's name, and artist's location. I think it's great that everyone who submits gets to have their work viewed and recognized. There are breaks throughout the slide viewing to give away door prizes. Just about everyone wins a prize (I won a pad of watercolor paper). Separately, there are raffle tickets you can buy for the bigger prizes, and those were awesome - complete colored pencil sets from Caran D'Ache, Prismacolor, Neocolor; Icarus boards, year's subscriptions to the Artist's Magazine. Also, the hospitality suite provided a great bag of freebies, including current issues of the Artist's Magazine, Derwent pencil tins, Canson sketchbooks, Stonehenge pads, and the samples of the new Lyra colorstripe pencils. The silent auction also was a blast, with an E-bay like countdown and flurry of final bidding. My piece went to Shelly Minnis, who also bought my other silent auction piece two years ago. The big bucks went for Elizabeth Patterson's piece, which I believe set a new record at about $700.
The awards banquet had a great slide show and talk by Vera about the 20th year anniversary of the CPSA. For the awards, the top prize went to Shinji Harada's photoreal "Grapes in a Basket".
The artist's reception on Saturday was fun. We had a bus shuttle us the 15 miles or so to the gallery, and it was a perfect, warm, sunny day for it. The gallery space was somewhat small, and divided into three rooms, two at the entrance, and one on the bottom floor. I actually prefer the smaller spaces, and the energy that comes from having everyone packed into them. It's fun to hear all of the conversations about the different works swirling around you. My piece was on the top floor in the left-hand room, and had a nice position in the center of the wall directly across where you first enter the room.
Here are a few pictures from the show: