Opening of the 52nd Annual Mother Lode Art Show

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 05, 2018 / comments

[Lynell Phillips]

The 52nd Annual Mother Lode art show, sponsored by the Placerville Arts Association, opened Sunday August 5th with a reception and the announcement of the winners. In her opening remarks, show chairperson, Gloria Vernon, spoke of the challenge this year’s juror and judge, artist Frank Ordaz experienced choosing the 100 pieces from the over 300 entries submitted by local artists as well as entries from New York, Texas, Montana and Colorado. 

Mr. Ordaz’s presentation included high marks to both the artists and the folk who hung the show, stating he was impressed by the quality of the art displayed as well as the skill with which it was presented. By hanging complimentary pieces for display in each area the show is enhanced. 
In his critique of some of the winning pieces, Mr. Ordaz expressed enthusiasm for artists who “capture a lifestyle in the image” and touted Barbara Kemp’s Best of Show, a watercolor, Kaleidoscope Koi II, as “a celebration of life, a feel-good piece with wonderful spirit”.

The Mother Lodes show is currently running through August 19, 2018 at the Placerville Shakespeare Club at 2940 Bedford Avenue, Placerville from 10-4 daily.  An awards reception will be held on August 19, 2018 at 3 pm.



Steve Walter’s watercolor Far Above Sabrina received an Award of Excellence.  Mr. Ordaz called it a “wonderful positive piece”.

Two scratchboard artists received high praise.  Mr. Ordaz awarded Shirley Isola’s Apalo an Award of Excellence, saying the piece “captures a wonderful spirit”.  

Linda Heath Clark also received an Award of Excellence for her scratchboard piece, Catalyst.  This piece is “what a super hero would paint” Mister Ordaz enthused, “it visually has that wow factor”.


Bringing forward Randy Honerlah’s acrylic, Wahi Nini (winner of the Placerville Arts Membership Award) Mr. Ordaz remarked that this piece is sophisticated in its re-inspired “paint by number’s style”, taking it further than the kits we enjoyed as children.

Susan Wickersham’s piece, Our Hands, Ourselves was the one Award of Merit highlighted by Mr. Ordaz.  Noting that “assemblages are cool”, he went on to say Ms. Wickersham’s piece “is very sophisticated” and her “creativity is off the charts”.


Congratulations to all the winners of the 52nd Mother Lode Show!

Best of Show: Barbara Kemp, Watercolor, Kaleidoscope Koi II

Placerville Arts Membership Award:  Randy Honerlah, Acrylic, Wahi Nini

Award of Excellence Winners:

Linda Heath Clark Scratchboard, Catalyst

Shirley Isola, Scratchboard, Apalo

Steve Walter, watercolor, Far Above Sabrina

Award of Merit Winners

Susan Wickersham, Found objects, Our Hands, Ourselves

Lisa Aikenhead, Photography, Dream Back the Bison

Melinda Vahradian, Watercolor, Dinner Party

Honorable Mention

Joyce Campbell, Gourd Fine Art, Reflections

Barbara Gerard-Mitchell, Watercolor, In Formation

Myra Holmes, Steel Shadow Sculpture, Aarya, the Brave

Pam Little, Digital, Mallow Ninebark Fall

Marina Smelik, Stone, Mystery Within

Sierra Pastel Society Awards

Matt Lister, Soft Pastel, November, Award of Excellence for Best Pastel of the Sierra Nevada

Gloria Vernon, Soft Pastel, October Geranium, Award of Excellence