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Sandy Journal

Best in show surprise and a theme of wanderlust in this year’s Sandy Visual Art Show

Nov 09, 2021 11:50AM ● By Heather Lawrence

Many works in the Sandy Visual Art Show seemed to express a desire to travel and explore. (Sandy Arts Guild)

By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]

Utah County artist Amy Brailsford was running late on Oct. 11, the night of the opening reception for the Sandy Visual Art Show. Eventually she made it, and it’s a good thing she did. There was a surprise waiting there for her, which she described on her Facebook page. 

“Let me tell you something incredible. My husband and I arrived late [to the opening night] because we had to leave our six kids home and the baby was crying. 

“I entirely missed the opening ceremonies and award presentations,” Brailsford said in a voiceover, while showing photos of many of the other works in the show. 

“You can only imagine my surprise when I went downstairs [in the Senior Center] and saw this,” Brailsford said. Her video scans across a wall of artwork, panning down to a big purple ribbon which is hanging next to a painting of a girl.  

“Best of Show. On my painting! Now that made for a great end to the night!” Brailsford said. 

Brailsford’s winning oil and acrylic painting is titled, “Girl with a Blue Ribbon.” In subject, perspective and title, it evokes the classic Johannes Vermeer painting, “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” 

Rules for the juried annual Sandy Visual Art Show restrict artists to three entries. Brailsford asked for suggestions from her friends on social media about which three pieces to enter. She entered “Girl with a Blue Ribbon,” a take on “Wet Cupid” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau and a profile gray scale work of a man with an extremely impressive moustache.   

“The Sandy Art Show is really exciting because there are over 70 local artists participating, and the art is incredible. 

“One thing I like about participating in local shows is that I can meet local artists and see what they’re working on. And because we live in the same general area, there is actually a chance we could meet up again,” Brailsford said. 

The show accepted original submissions in the areas of watercolor, photography, oil, acrylic, mixed media and 3D art. There is also a category for artists with special needs. The work was displayed at the Sandy Senior Center, 9310 S. 1300 East, from Oct. 12-22. Admission was free. 

Wanderlust after a year and a half of Covid restrictions may have been an inspiration for this year’s artists: many works featured landscapes or subjects from around the world. 

Exploring the outdoors was a theme in Richard Ansley’s photograph of Monument Valley. It was also featured in oil/acrylic works: Richard Miles’s “Cascade Canyon – Tetons;” Don Ackley’s “American Icon” painting of a forgotten train car in the desert; and Joan Ellsworth’s “Adrift” of a boat aimlessly sitting in gray waters.  

The Mayor’s Choice award went to Jennifer Deily’s oil and acrylic painting, “Are We There Yet?” It shows a blue bison at sunset in a wheat field, with hitchhiking birds on its back and head. 

Other works featured more exotic locales: Autumn Krogh’s third-place watercolor is titled, and shows, “Mother and Daughters, Rwanda.” Jane Kennedy’s watercolor of an African elephant is simply titled “#2” and won fourth place. 

Melody Greenlief’s watercolor work was titled “Landing Again,” and Merrill Harward’s was “Paris #5.” Lola Kartchner stayed closer to home with her fifth-place prized work “Little Cottonwood Canyon.”   

The mixed media art was just as exploration driven. Beverly Hansen took second place with her Zebra piece titled “Stripes.” Doreen Hanson’s silverpoint drawing called “The Morning News” featured two charming older women chatting, dressed in plain dresses, their hair covered with bandanas. 

Vicky Petty’s “Laundry Day in Guatemala” showed brightly colored fabric hanging on clothing lines strung between houses. 

The “Disabled Artists” category had five winners, and included one of the few self-portraits, drawn by Christian Holets, called “Picture of Me.” Other winning artists in the category were Nicholas Pawlicki, Tyler Pierce, Jessi Wadsworth and Wendi Kockerhans.  

The 3D art had three winners for sculpted works: “Mythos” by Skip Bellock looks like a fanned seashell unwinding, waiting to share ancient myths and magic. Diane Martin’s “Fairy House” is a green fairy retreat with gravity challenges. And Dennis Barnett’s serene “Mallard Hen Family” captures a mother mallard duck and her five young ones settling into a riverbank.  

To see some of the winners’ pieces and for information on entering, see the Sandy Arts Guild website at, and go to the “visual arts” section. 

The Sandy Visual Art Show is sponsored by the Sandy Arts Guild, which began in 1985. The guild has grown to include the art show, local theater such as October’s production of “Big Fish” and shows at the Sandy Amphitheater. 

The art show is an annual, family-oriented event, adjudicated by a committee of qualified jurors. Awards are given in the form of cash and other in-kind prizes. It gives artists an opportunity to meet other local artists, have their work seen by the public, sell work and receive commissions for new pieces.