Scissors, by KOH student Sam Day. Winner, Best in Show, the 2015 Best of Gage

Scissors, by KOH student Sam Day. Winner, Best in Show, the 2015 Best of Gage

The 2015 Best of Gage was a smashing success – more than 800 art lovers filled the building to capacity as adult and teen students presented a look back at an amazing year of creativity.

The annual Best in Show award went to Kang-O’Higgins Atelier student Sam Day for his stunning work, Scissors (pictured).

Sam joined an all-star cast of students who took home top honors in nine categories, as judged by guest juror Joseph McDonnell. The complete list of winners is below.

Sheila Hughes, Executive Director at Gage, opened the festivities by reflecting on the individual and collective achievements of the Gage community.

“This year marks a very special turning point for Gage – one where we congratulate the school, its amazing instructors, talented students and their supportive families, wonderful board of directors, staff, sponsors, donors and volunteers…This is going to be a very exciting time as Gage re-creates itself for a new generation of students, a new city with changing demographics, (and) new ways of learning and sharing our passion for the arts.”

Special thanks to all the sponsors – especially 4Culture, the Office of Arts & Culture and Capitol Cider – for their support of the 2015 Best of Gage.

Mark your calendars for the 2016 Best of Gage, taking place on Friday, June 17 at Gage Academy of Art.

2015 Best of Gage Award Winners

Meghan Goltschalk

Meghan Gottschalk

Teen – Sponsored by BLICK ART MATERIALS, Baas Framing Studio & The Elliott Bay Book Company
3rd Place: Kiani Ferris
2nd Place: Rachell Farrell
1st Place: Meghan Gottschalk

Beginner – Sponsored by Watson-Guptill, Gage and Annie’s Art & Frame
3rd Place: Colleen Kelly
2nd Place: Dahny Reed
1st Place: Krister Eide

Sculpture – Sponsored by The NCECA, Blick Art Materials and Pratt Fine Arts Center
3rd Place: Traci Cole
2nd Place: Jean Fowley
1st Place: Jeremias Lentini

Erin Pollock

Erin Pollock

Abstract – Sponsored by Seattle Art Museum and Frame Central
3rd Place: Megan Burke Beckman
2nd Place: Holly McKinley
1st Place: Heather Cromwell

Narrative – Sponsored by Artist & Craftsman, Unique Art Framing and The Elliott Bay Book Company
3rd Place: Christine Schott
2nd Place: Sean Clemons
1st Place: Erin Pollock

Still-Life – Gamblin Artist Colors and Baas Framing Studio
3rd Place: Michael Hopcroft
2nd Place: Nancy McFaul
1st Place: Andrew DeGoede

Landscape – Sponsored by Daniel Smith Artists Materials and Wallflower Framing
3rd Place: Liz S. Krengel
2nd Place: Roger Slywester
1st Place: Kathleen Coyle

Mellissa West

Mellissa West

Figure – Sponsored by Gamblin Artist’s Colors, Watson-Guptill and Baas Framing Studio
3rd Place: Jonathon Hodge
2nd Place: Michelle Poulk
1st Place: Melissa West

Portrait – Sponsored by Artist & Craftsman and Unique Art Framing
3rd Place: Holly White-Gehrt
2nd Place: Madeline Owen
1st Place: Chelsea Johnson

Best in Show – Sponsored by Blick Art Materials, Baas Framing Studio and Bellevue Arts Museum
Winner: Sam Day

People’s Choice Award – Sponsored by Gage Academy of Art, Frame Central and University Bookstore
Winner: Beth Kehoe

The 2015 Best of Gage poster, featuring artwork by KOH student Marina Montes

2015 Best of Gage Juror Joseph McDonnell – Juror’s Statement

“It is a very honoring and challenging opportunity for me to be invited to be the judge of this year’s art program at Gage. I have been a practicing artist all of my adult life as well as having been the sculpture critic and associate editor for seven years of the New York monthly Art World. I have seen and visited a lot of art.

It is easier to be a critic than to be a judge, especially a solitary judge of many very qualified artists. As it is very difficult I have established criteria for judging which is based on several positions. And be certain I too have had my work judged and often did not agree with the decision.

To begin I ask myself what the artist is attempting to do, and how successful is he or she at achieving this? In what arena does this work belong, or does it stand alone? What is the background of the artist? The education? What special qualities does the work have such as spiritual, or poetic or mystical? What about the quality of execution? Or, does it matter? What are the works’ strong points? Its weak points? What makes the work superior to the others?

As a judge and critic one is limited by words to express what the viewer experiences and what the artist intended. How can words express a work’s “picture-ability?” Is there that inexplicable but identifiable quality of superior artfulness that makes a given work superior? What makes a work stand out “today” when it might be passed over at another time? Does the work have that wonderful quality that you cannot help but say, “this really has it?”

So, while attempting to achieve a fair judgment of this exhibition, it is my hope that the artists understand that I am one artist with a life in art judging the works from my own vantage point. Certainly a board of judges would probably come up with something different, but that would be a consensus whereby favorites would often negate each other. And the fourth or fifth choices end up being in the top spot.”

Joseph McDonnell is an American sculptor whose work ranges in size from small to monumental in materials that include bronze, granite, steel and glass. His sense of mass and space produce an inner logic in the forms he creates.

McDonnell received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame, and also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, and at the Harvard School of Design. He has produced more than 150 major public and private commissions throughout the United States.

Select Images from the 2015 Best of Gage

 All photos courtesy of Duell Fischer for Team Photogenic.