Haliburton artist Shelley Beach wins gold at TWS’s spring show

Submitted by Tayce Wakefield

April 19 2016

Haliburton artist Shelley Beach was awarded the Toronto Watercolour Society’s Gold Level of Distinction for being juried into 35 shows and was awarded a gold medal for Juror’s Choice for Best in Show for her painting “Journey to Dreamer’s Rock” at the TWS’ Aquavision Spring Show at the Neilson Park Creative Centre in Etobicoke.

Only 10 other artists have achieved the Gold Level of Distinction (and only four have achieved the Platinum Distinction for being juried into 50 or more shows) so this puts the artist into an elite group as noted by TWS Awards chair woman and director Carolyne Pascoe.

This is the first time Beach has won a gold medal with the TWS. Her painting “Journey to Dreamer’s Rock” was inspired by Beach’s trip last fall to Manitoulin Island. She also had another painting “Shield Series 1” accepted into the TWS Aquavision Spring Show.

About 150 paintings were submitted of which approximately 90 were accepted by the jurors – and only one is awarded the gold medal.

Beach said “As a visual artist I  try to push my limits into the unknown. I love to experiment and be guided by my intuition.  I enter quite a few juried exhibitions as a personal challenge. Putting my work up for judging against my accomplished peers sets me up for many disappointments as well as opportunities for success.

“I have worked pretty hard and one of my proudest moments was returning to art school as a mature student and graduating with honours” she added.

Pascoe said “TWS has established the Gold Level of Distinction (along with Signature Bronze Silver and Platinum levels) to encourage artists to consistently enter juried shows over time. It is difficult to be accepted into juried shows because jurors look for a high level of technical competence originality and creativity in selecting which pieces will be included. To have been juried into 35 shows is truly an exceptional achievement and winning the gold medal in this show is also exceptional – it’s almost a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a major goal for many artists. ”

In awarding the gold medal to “Journey to Dreamer’s Rock” the jurors (Carol Westcott an award-winning artist and Christina Kostoff owner of the Yellow House Gallery Toronto) noted “The subtle gradation and control of colour are outstanding. It’s a fine composition with simplicity in the use of line. Detail is added only where needed.”

Shelley Beach lives full time on Kennisis Lake and the beauty of the Highlands is a constant source of inspiration for her. She has taught classes at Fleming College’s Haliburton School of Art and Design for seven years and is a well-known watercolour and acrylic instructor throughout the Durham Region.

She is an honour graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design (2004) and an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists as well as a signature member of TWS.  Her paintings hang in numerous corporate and private collections. She is represented by the Ethel Curry Gallery in Haliburton.

The Toronto Watercolour Society (TWS) is a non-profit organization that began in 1985. It is dedicated to promoting the interests of painters in watercolour in Toronto. It held its first annual Fall Juried Show in October 1984 and has mounted spring and fall juried shows each year since then.

Membership is now more than 275 artists. TWS has earned a reputation throughout Ontario for its continued commitment to its mandate the quality of its shows and exhibitions the excellent work of its member artists and its weekend workshops and guest lectures by knowledgeable professional artists. The Aquavision Spring Show runs from April 4 to 24 at Neilson Park Creative Centre 56 Neilson Dr. in Etobicoke.

Beach’s work can be viewed by appointment at her studio on Kennisis Lake (www.theshelleybeach.com) and she will be participating in the KLCOA’s Art on the Dock studio tour on July 9 and 10.