Editor’s Letter | Exciting Finds

The joy of discovering new artists

By Kristin Hoerth

Evening Shade by Erica Hawkes.

Evening Shade by Erica Hawkes.

This story was featured in the January 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art January 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Don’t you just love the landscape painting shown here? I’m quite taken with it. I don’t think I’ve seen an artist take this particular cubist approach before. The color choices seem spot-on, too, transporting me directly to a specific time of day that happens to be one of my favorites. And finally, the reflection of the sunset in the water is convincing, making the whole lower portion of the painting seem to shimmer and glisten.

The painting is by Erica Hawkes, an artist from British Columbia, and I never would have known about her work were it not for the feature story in this month’s issue called “Top Honors,” which begins on page 58. The story shines the spotlight on winners and finalists from an annual art competition put on by Southwest Art’s sister publication, The Artist’s Magazine.

And by the way, rising to the top in this particular competition is no easy feat. This year there were more than 6,500 entries from around the country and around the world. Submissions were divided into five categories, each of which was juried by a respected fine artist: portraiture and figurative work was juried by Casey Baugh, animal and wildlife paintings by Anni Crouter, still lifes and interiors by Jimmy Wright, landscapes and florals by Alexandra Tyng, and abstract and experimental works by Katherine Chang Liu. Each juror selected first-, second-, and third-place winners; three honorable mentions; and approximately 100 finalists.

Some of the artists featured in our story are names you may recognize. Dean Buhler, for example, was recently selected as one of our Artists to Watch; Ian Marion was one of our “21 Under 31” honorees a few years back. But the vast majority of the artists were brand new to me. It was such fun to open up each new image when it reached our office and explore the many styles and compositions that were unlike anything I’d seen before.

Discovering and introducing new, talented artists is one of the things we take particular joy in here at Southwest Art. We bring these new artists to your attention in every issue’s Artists to Watch column, and we also bring you special features throughout the year with the same goal in mind. This month’s story is another treasure trove of exciting finds, and with 36 artists included, I hope you’ll see at least one piece that grabs your attention and excites your artistic senses.

Featured in the January 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art January 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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