Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Westmoreland Art Exhibition recognizes professor


Sometimes, a bare wall is all that is needed for inspiration.

For assistant professor of art Sky Shineman, it was a bare wall that sparked her interest in light, an interest she has since incorporated into a painting that earned her the first-place prize at a national art show.

“I used to watch a wall in my apartment change shape and color all because of light,” Shineman said. “I became really interested in light phenomena and the passage of time. [Look at anything and you’ll realize that] it’s only going to look that way right now. A cloud could pass by, and it would be completely changed.”

Her painting “Early/Dusk,” which won “Best of Show” at the Westmoreland Art Nationals Juried Exhibition in Youngwood, Pennsylvania at the beginning of June, explores these relationships.

“Early/Dusk” is actually composed of two 12 in. by 12 in. panels, and though each square is similar in color, each represents a different time of day.

The first represents the bright, harsh light of early morning, while the second represents droopy dusk, she said. Time of day affects the quality of light that we see.

As in Shineman’s paintings, time also plays an important role in the Westmoreland Art Exhibition, which is judged by a different person each year.

This year’s juror was Kulvinder Kaur Dhew, who grew up in England and received her master’s in painting from The Royal College of Art in London.

“Upon selecting pieces for the show, I was very aware of the sheer human effort that goes into making art… The variation of themes on display in these works appears to indicate that our need to express something of our experiences is alive and kicking,” Dhew said of the selection process.

One way the Westmoreland show recognizes artists’ efforts is by awarding monetary prizes to its winners. By winning “Best of Show,” Shineman won $700 that she says will go “right back into supplies.”

“It’s unbelievably generous,” said Shineman, who also was awarded $750 for placing first in the West Alabama Juried Show in November. “It’s not often that big monetary awards are given [at art shows], but it’s nice to have recognition. Material, travel, postage…it all adds up, and I’m really glad there are situations like this to support artists.”

As part of the exhibition, Shineman’s painting has been on display at the Westmoreland County Community College since June 4 and will be taken down today.

It will be on display again at the Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival, where it will be eligible for another round of awards after it is judged by a second juror. The festival will be held at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pa., July 1 through 4 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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