The Seattle Artist League is excited to announce the prizes for this year’s Portrait Awards. These artworks were chosen out of 151 entries, from 72 artists. Media was mostly paintings and drawings, with a few mixed media and prints. All were completed within 2021 or early 2022. “It was an honour and a delight to see such an amazing array of talent. To help me choose a few amongst the wide range of great artworks, I narrowed my concept of portrait to ‘the gaze’ and looked for unique poses and engaged actions of the person depicted.” – guest judge Catherine Lepp. First Prize The top prize in this year’s Portrait Awards goes to Seattle artist Ava Gedicks. Her “Tall Child”, a 10×8 acrylic on canvas self portrait was chosen out of 156 entries and has won the $1,000 cash prize. “I was inspired to create this painting to represent a feeling of objectification as I navigate young adulthood.” – Ava Gedicks Second Prize Second prize is a tie between two paintings by the same artist! Nina Katz has won $500 gift certificate for her paintings “The Thought”, a 20×16″ oil on canvas portrait of her husband, and “Mom” a 20×20″ oil on canvas painting of her mother early one morning “looking like a goddess.” Nina lives in Berkeley, California. A portrait of the artist’s husband, a frequent subject of her work, and her mother “early one morning, looking like a goddess” by Nina Katz. Third Prize Megan Riera, a Los Angeles artist, has won a $300 gift certificate for her 30×24″ oil on panel painting “Sam, Forming….” In her description, Megan said this was a portrait of her son at 18, “finding himself largely blocked in. By the time he has formed more fully, other parts will have changed. We did this during lock down, which as we know was especially tough on young people.” Honorable Mentions Honorable Mentions allow us to celebrate a wide variety of voices, each one contributing technique and heart to this series of inspiring artworks. Each Honorable Mention wins a $100 gift certificate to the Seattle Artist League, and our deep appreciation. Catherine Lepp described this woodcut print by Elisa Dore as “technically stunning and beautifully slow to read, locate the face amongst the leaves.” “This woodcut is my sister Cecilia standing among the palm fronds. I took this picture of her when we were on a walk to the beach in South Carolina, after it had rained and the palm fronds perfectly framed her face. I was inspired by her beauty and the natural beauty of the forest we were walking through.” – Elisa Dore Celeste Gould, “Mama” 24 x 18 Catherine Lepp: “Elegant, exciting and fresh…like a Milton Avery” Alisa Cruz, “Big City Kid Jon Juan” 12×12 https://alisacruz.com/ Catherine Lepp: “This is a great drawing and composition with exciting patterning.” Lou Copeland, “Later in Life Love – .” 30×24 Catherine Lepp: “I love this couple…what a connection between the subjects, such a tender and joyful painting” Samuel Case, “Queen” 30×24″ Catherine Lepp: “Stunning fur and jacket, strong composition and gaze” Motoko Lewis, “Self” 23×15 Pastel, conte pencil, and conte crayon on paper. Catherine Lepp: “Intriguing drawing in limited palette” Lin-Lin Mao Mollitor, “Little Old Me” 8×8 oil on canvas board Catherine Lepp: “awkward close-up with surprising composition” Gary Rubin, “Determined” 8×5.5 Catherine Lepp: “Drawn from the TV! has great vibrancy and urgency of line” Melissa Maxwell, “Dan & Sitka” “This value study in oil was created with six shades of blue. In this picture, the pose of the cat (Sitka) reminds me of ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring,’ so I also refer to this painting as ‘Cat with the Pearl Earring.'” – Melissa Maxwell Catherine Lepp complemented the use of blue, as well as the artistic reference to ‘Girl with Pearl Earring.’ Thank you to everyone who submitted work. Your contributions were a joy to explore, and a valuable contribution of ideas. We’ll be posting some artist spotlights to celebrate the work in these portraits in the next few V. Notes. More to come!