Urbana artist Mike Major’s drawing “Trees on the Edge” earned Best of Show at the Champaign County Arts Council fourth annual Juried Art Exhibition earlier this month. CONTRIBUTED

Urbana artist wins twice in juried exhibition

Urbana-based Mike Major’s drawing on canvas “Trees on the Edge” earned Best of Show at the event. Major placed second for the sculpture “William Pitsenbarger” at the event, which was combined this year with the annual Celebration of the Arts, on May 5 at the Arts Council building.

“It is a bit unusual for someone to take two prizes,” said Heather Brackney, executive director of the Champaign County Arts Council. “However, the judging is blind, and the judge told me she had no idea the two pieces by Mike Major were even by the same artist.”

The Pitsenbarger sculpture depicts a decorated airman who died serving in the Vietnam War. Major created a larger monument on display in Pitsenbarger’s hometown of Piqua.

The show included 53 pieces from artists in Champaign and Clark Counties and artists could submit multiple works. They were judged by Meghan Hager, a member of the Logan County Art League; the show is judged by a different person each year.

Other top awards went to Rhonda Sloan, first place for the painting “Burano, Italy,” and Jessie Barker, third place for “Sun Quilt.” This is the third consecutive year Barker has placed.

Sloan also took the first place prize in the Western Ohio Watercolor Society show currently on display at the Springfield Museum through Sept. 24.

“We were very pleased with the quality and variety of the show,” Brackney said.

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Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com.