Blue ribbon winners

Vanessa King, of Eldora, not only traveled a bit of distance Saturday to participate in the Iowa Artists 2013 State Show at Iowa Central Community College, she also did a bit of traveling through time.

“The last time I entered was 14 years ago,” she said.

Although that earned her a blue ribbon, time kept her away from creating much.

“I was caught up in life, raising kids, working,” she said.

After she found the old ribbon, it hit a chord.

“It inspired me to get back in the game,” she said.

King’s chosen medium is collage; she finds inspiration in various colorful coffee table books for her work. She was happy that her second entry in the competition had gotten her this far.

King also enjoys another medium, pottery, that was being demonstrated by Iowa Central Community College art instructor Maureen Seamonds.

“I’ve done it,” she said while watching Seamonds create a bowl. “I love it.”

Seamonds was showing the assembled audience how she creates various objects to be fired in a process known as raku. The art form involves treating the final glaze with fire. This creates various hues of copper and green using copper based glazes.

She recently had a new experience in getting ready for a spring show.

“You can imagine firing outside in the snow,” she said.

Besides demonstrating her raku techniques, Seamonds is also judging the entries in the show.

She said it’s a tough job because entries in the show are all of very high quality.

So what does she look for in a work?

“What did they do that made it personal,” she said.

Art in the show consists of pieces that have won in one of the group’s 12 regional shows. Cash prizes are awarded for the top three. The organization exists to help artists meet each other through the state. Feedback is provided at the shows.

Delayne Segar, co-chair of the show, said that for the artists, getting to participate is an honor.

Melody Nichols, of Cedar Falls, had an ink drawing in the show. She was not only enjoyed the raku demonstration, she got on the stage with several others to observe closely and snap a few photographs.

Nichols was inspired by being chosen to participate in the show.

“It’s fun, it’s encouraging,” she said. “It’s nice to be part of a community.”

Nichols is hoping to be able to incorporate her art in her chosen career path, design.

“I love the creative process,” she said.

She was also impressed with the other works.

“Overall there’s a nice variety. I love the portraits,” Nichols said.

Was there a favorite?

“Every piece is a good piece,” she said.

Alison Weidemann, of Stratford, came to the show to see a painting by her aunt, Carol Gunn.

“I’m proud of her,” she said.

Patsy Murphy, of Knoxville, also exhibited at the show a pastel drawing of a team of horses working in a field.

“I’m very fortunate,” she said of being selected for the show. “The competition is fantastic.”

Like Vanessa King, Murphy too had had a hiatus.

“I didn’t have time to do it till the last 10 years,” she said.