Since June 8th, entries for America’s Best Racing Equine Art Challenge were accepted. The winners were chosen from the top ten art pieces on July 21st. Finalists were selected by guest jurors Miranda Lash, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky, Cameron Shaw, Executive Director and Founding Editor of Pelican Bomb, a contemporary visual arts organization based in New Orleans; and Edward Waites, a successful young equine sculptor based in England.
Artworks were judged with each piece assigned a random number for identification purposes. Having no knowledge of the artists’ names or backgrounds, jurors ranked their 10 preferred works. Points were assigned accordingly on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Asked to comment on a work that ranked among her favorites, Lash praised William Wilson’s oil painting, Hard Tack. “It’s very well-executed and the colors are very vibrant,” she said. “I love the sheen on the horse’s coat and the accuracy of the muscles. There’s also an element of mystery that I find intriguing, as that stick he’s tied to obviously isn’t going to keep the horse from going anywhere.”
Shaw was partial to Bowen’s photograph, Dedication. “I liked this photograph because of its unexpected point of view,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like a human vantage, but rather like another horse’s gaze. It shows how strong and sinewy the animals are. It puts the many details into focus – from veins to mane – that make horses feel so majestic, magical and sometimes scary.”
First place winner, Ronnie Betor, received $400 and the opportunity to exhibit the artwork at a major racing event. Second is worth $100 and third is $25.
“Our congratulations and thanks to these 10 artists, whose work showcases so many aspects of what makes horses and horse racing fascinating to fans from all walks of life,” said Stephen Panus, Vice President of America’s Best Racing. “We are delighted by the quality and variety of work submitted to our first Equine Art Challenge and look forward to building this into the nation’s premier juried equine art competition.”
Below are the other pieces in the top ten:
Hope you enjoyed seeing the winners of the first ever ABR Equine Art Challenge! Looking forward to next year’s contest.
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !