Winners Announced for Small Wonders 2023

On view thru February 24, 2023
Winners were announced Saturday February 4, 2023 in the Small Wonders art competition at Southern Arts Society (SASi) in Kings Mountain, NC. Artists were asked to limit the size of their work to 5 x 7 inches or less (not including the mat or frame).
The artists entered in the show rose to the challenge with a remarkable showing of artwork from around the region. The variety of media in the show includes oil, acrylic and pastel paintings, mixed media, fiber, wood, glass and collage.
Small Wonders features works from:

Susan Arrowood, Mary Bartrop, Deanna Basnett, Janet K. Baxter, Peggy S. Burton, Austin Calhoun, Keilee Caltagirone, Carl Childs, Janet Dyer, Rob Dyer, Dianne W. Garner, Darlene Godfrey, Lizz Grimsley, Emma Kay Lewis, Mari Matamoros, Lori McAdams, Tim McDougald, Martha K. Moore, James L. Norman, Alex Pietersen, Shelby Sabelli, Ron Shepard, Jean Wilder Smith, Manya Starr, Denesha Sweat, Chris Tessnear, and Jan Welborn.

About the Judge

Judging this year’s show was Jessica Burke (J.B), an Associate Professor of Art and Foundations Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As an artist, she is interested in the effect of popular culture on identity. Her creative work has been included in competitive juried and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally.Miss Burke selected First, Second and Third Place prizes along with three Merit Awards. Please see the winning works and the judge’s comments below.





First Place

Alex Pietersen, Paradise, mixed media

[This is primarily a wood sculpture of a small cabin, with a pond, bench and picnic table.] I really appreciated this three-dimensional approach. There is a distinct authenticity to this work that speaks to the artist and their idea of paradise. The quality and craft in both the cabin and the rendering of the tree created focal points that elevated the piece.


Second Place

Second place award winning black and white drawing of a handing holding a 3D star shape.

Lori McAdams, Archimedean Solid, scratchboard

Scratchboard is an unforgiving medium, but when used well, it creates a strong value language and drama of light. The use of mark-making to create the illusion of depth worked well in this central approach to composition.


Third Place

Third place award-winning abstract painting with white and yellow rough lines against a black background by Mari-Matamoros.

Mari Matamoros, Mini Abstract #4, acrylic

The compositional choices were really strong use of asymmetrical balance and directional movement especially. The mix of texture, mark-making and shape design worked well together to create a compelling formal arrangement.


Merit Award

Denesha Sweat with purple ribbon and her merit award-winning collage of a woman's face with bees and flowers overlaid the image entitled Getting Past the Stings.

Denesha Sweat, Getting Past the Stings, mixed media



Merit Award

Ron Shepard with purple ribbon and his merit award-winning pastel rendering of colorful trees reflected in water titled Faux Cristmas.

Ron Shepard, Faux Christmas, pastel



Merit Award

Merit award-winning watercolor of a sunset by Deanna Basnett.

Deanna Basnett, Arizona I, watercolor