By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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“The artist was going to Goodwill. The shopping there paid off, as it always does,” juror Michael Paul Miller said Saturday. Miller, a Peninsula College art professor, and Port Townsend sculptor David Eisenhour chose this sculpture for the top award in a show that presented $2,300 in cash prizes to six artists.
The best-in-show piece, titled “Drone (The Magnificent Killing Machine),” came from the workbench of David Murdach of Tacoma. An attorney, Murdach is new to art shows; he said this was only the second one he's been part of.
“Drone” is topical — yet it has a Jules Verne-steampunk look to it, said Miller.
So “it's a great conversation piece,” he added.
That's exactly what Murdach hoped for: to start conversations about drones and other military machines.
The artist found out about the fine arts center show, which had a $25 entry fee, from his son Clay Murdach, who lives here.
David Murdach attended Saturday's free program at the fine arts center, where Miller and Eisenhour discussed the winning pieces. A $500 prize was awarded to Matt Calcavecchia of Seattle for “The Finger,” a watercolor-and-cut-paper scene of a neighborhood; another $500 for best three-dimensional piece went to Dale Blankenship for “Weekend Farmer,” a diminutive sculpture in dark green jade. Honorable mentions, at $100 each, went to Port Townsend artist Nancy Van Allen for her painting “Death of Day;” to Peregrine O'Gormley of La Conner for “Forever,” a multi-shaded wooden jigsaw puzzle; and to Port Angeles sculptor Tammy Hall for “Raven II.”
“It's a transformative piece of art: It's no longer wood,” Miller said of the driftwood bird. “It's animated . . . it's in flight.”
Eisenhour, meanwhile, marveled at the variety in “Art Convergence,” which brought together 38 artists from across and beyond the North Olympic Peninsula.
“It's a pleasure to be part of this,” he said, “and to be welcome in a vibrant artistic community.”
“Art Convergence” will be open at the fine arts center through Jan. 10, and all of the pieces are or were for sale; some have already been purchased but will stay on display until the show's end.
Art lovers can visit the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center's indoor gallery at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays — and view the “Art Convergence” show online at www.PAFAC.org. The center can also be reached at 360-457-3532.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.