First place in the People’s Choice Awards at the Shelby Township Fine Art Society’s display at the Shelby Township Art Fair Aug. 14-15 went to Bea Allebone for “Dolly Llamas.”

First place in the People’s Choice Awards at the Shelby Township Fine Art Society’s display at the Shelby Township Art Fair Aug. 14-15 went to Bea Allebone for “Dolly Llamas.”

Photo provided by John Mueller


Shelby Fine Art Society members win People’s Choice Awards at art fair

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 7, 2021

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Three Shelby Township residents are feeling the love after winning People’s Choice Awards for their artwork that was on display at the annual Shelby Township Art fair in the Shelby Township Fine Art Society booth.

The art fair took place Aug. 14-15 at Shelby Township’s River Bends Park. The fair featured art from more than 100 national, regional and local artists. The event was presented by the Shelby Township Art Fair Committee and the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department.

Attendees cast 1,244 votes for the People’s Choice Awards at the Shelby Township Fine Art Society’s art tent. First place went to Bea Allebone for “Dolly Llamas,” which Allebone created using acrylics. Second place went to Joyce Kilpatrick for the mixed media piece, “Queen Anne’s Blues.” Diane Shomo’s pastel, “Sunset,” won third place.

Allebone said that her artwork meant something to her personally and she wanted to share it with everyone. She was surprised that attendees chose her work.

“This past year brought a new perspective to my art; I found painting lighthearted subjects brightened my days. ‘Dolly Llamas’ really brought a smile to my family and friends, so I thought, ‘Why not spread the joy at the Shelby Township Art Fair.’ Well, what a full-circle moment when I found out that it took first place in the Shelby Township Fine Art Society’s booth. Thank you to everyone who took the time browse our tent and vote for their favorite painting,” she said in an email interview.

She said she felt that River Bends Park, a new venue for the annual art fair, was perfect. Everyone seemed to enjoy the weekend browsing all the booths and spending time with their families relaxing under the trees, she observed, and she thanked Shelby Township for all the hard work that went into making the fair a success.

Kilpatrick said her artwork had a particular inspiration.

“My painting was inspired by the beautiful Queen Anne’s lace growing profusely this summer. I tried to capture the laciness of these flowers by using mixed media,” she said via email.

Shomo’s piece had its origin in a cruise.

“I like to take pictures of dramatic skies. My pastel painting ‘Sunrise’ was a picture I have taken on a cruise in Australia,” she said.

Sara Katsavrias, the Shelby Township Fine Art Society president, said many of the attendees had to take a while to choose their favorite artwork because there were so many good pieces to choose from.

“There were so many beautiful works of art that many of our 1,244 voters had to walk around the tents a few times before making their final decision. The perfect weather brought many fairgoers outdoors to explore the tents of the many artists, crafters and Michigan-made vendors at River Bends Park, which was a new location and perfect backdrop for all the artists involved. Eventually, three winners were chosen via a ticket that was dropped into the appropriate bag alongside the work of art of choice. Many fairgoers praised our show, and for that, our artists should be proud of a job well done. We had 60 paintings hanging and look forward to next year’s show where we can hang all new works of art in our tent,” Katsavrias said in an email.

For more information, visit shelbyartfair.org or call the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department on weekdays at (586) 731-0300.

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