SCAA celebrates artists with Arts Classic Gala


Fall is here, and for the Santa Clarita Artists Association, that means it’s time for its annual Arts Classic Gala, a fundraiser that invites the whole community for an appreciation of local efforts.

Santa Clarita Valley artists are recognized and awarded in nine categories at the annual celebration, which is held each year in October or November, said SCAA President Zony Gordon.

“We raise funds for the (local youth) clubs, scholarships and, also, to judge for our annual competition,” Gordon said, explaining the idea behind the Sept. 29 showcase at Hart Hall, inside Hart Park.

Categories for the artists include media such as acrylics, oils, watercolors, dry media, collage, photography, as well as a “Best in Show” and the City of Excellence award, which is chosen by city arts officials.

One of the highlights for Gordon, who was recognized for her watercolor painting, is the general meeting that follows the SCAA.

This month, the regular meeting, which is held at Barnes & Noble in Valencia at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, recognizes the award-winners by giving each a 2- to 3-minute opportunity to talk about their pieces, she said.

The awards are granted by judges who are well-known artists invited from throughout the community, Gordon said, noting the signatures of the artists are covered up.

At the end of the day the event, and the SCAA, are all about supporting local arts and artists, Gordon said, noting any proceeds from the event goes toward supporting the organization and scholarships that are given to local high school seniors each year.

“Again this year, we will grant three scholarships to local high school seniors who are majoring in art,” said Dody Rogers, event coordinator.

That support for her fellow artists, as well as the beauty surrounding the Santa Clarita Valley, are some of the things that inspire Gordon as an artist, she said.

“There’s a lot of local color; there’s a lot of inspiration,” Gordon said, referring to the elements of nature throughout the SCV. “The Santa Clarita Valley is beautiful and I think the artists are very lucky to be surrounded by the very inspiring nature surrounding us.”

The judges, Frank Lennartz and David Deyell, reviewed 110 pieces of art in all categories.  Second place and merit winners were also awarded.

Best of Show: Gary Friedman for watercolor,“Take Me Home, Skippy”

1st place (Gold) was awarded to the following categories:

Oil: Nickalena Miller for “Barnyard Royalty”

Acrylics: Christine Dickerson for “The Observatory”

Watercolor: Ron Soto for “Watermelon Eating Contest”

Dry Media: Mike Farrell for “Away”

Sculpture: Bill Duquette for “The Secret Spot”

Mixed media: Bonny Butler for “Passionate Joy”

Masters: Jane Mick for “Reverie”

Photography:  Joseph Jasik-Drdol for “9th Street”

City Award of Excellence: Christopher Darga for oil painting “Red”

Service Award:  Jane Mick

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