NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 4, 2012

Thornhill named "Best in Show" at NAA fall exhibit

By Katie Lovett Features Editor
Newburyport Daily News

---- — The Newburyport Art Association is currently hosting the first juried show of the season — the members’ fall show.

The first part of the show, which runs through Oct. 20, features digital art, drawing, oil, printmaking, sculpture, and watercolor pieces. The 185 submissions were judged by Frank Roselli of Soprafina Gallery in Boston. This is his first time acting as a juror for the Art Association.

Of the total submissions, 129 works by 95 artists were accepted.

Roselli awarded the Sam Sargent Award for Best in Show to New Hampshire artist Robin Thornhill for her oil painting, “Lauren Grace.” The artist began painting 6 years ago.

Thornhill, who has a studio in Amesbury, completed the painting of her 11-year-old daughter a month ago. The piece signaled a move in a new direction for her: it was her first portrait.

“I’ve been painting mostly landscapes and I’m trying to expand my genre,” she said yesterday, speaking during a break in a portraiture workshop she was attending.

She entered the painting hoping only it would be accepted for the show, Thornhill said. When she received the news it had been named “Best in Show,” “I was more than surprised,” she added.

Her daughter is thrilled, as well.

“She thinks it’s won ‘Best in Show’ because she’s pretty,” Thornhill said.

Other award winners include:

Peggy Luderer, Institution for Savings Award for Best in Oil for “Late September in Amsterdam”

Michael Doran, H. Patterson Hale Jr. Charitable Foundation Award for Best in Watercolor for “Tintern Abbey”

Patty deGrandpre, Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank Award for Best in Printmaking for “Black and White and Red All Over”

Andrea Alukonis, Strem Chemicals, Inc. Award for Best in Sculpture for “Untitled I”

Earning honorable mentions were: Noriko Fox for “To the Light;” Ellen Rittgers for “Coffee Hour;” Susan Kneeland for “Downtown;” Patricia Crannell for “Bamboo III” and Anne Catell for “Wood Island.”

Roselli will return to the Art Association at the end of the month to judge the second portion of the fall show, which features acrylics, fine craft, mixed media, pastel, and photography.

That portion opens Oct. 26.