Seven local artists were named winners at this year's Beaverton Arts Mix!
The art show was held virtually with more than 100 artists and 350 juried works for sale. BAM! was held online through the entire month of October, in celebration of arts and humanities month.
This virtual event provided a way for regional artists to display their fine artworks for the public to view and purchase, according to Beaverton's website.
One of the artists, Karen Liu, won "Best in Show" at the event for her watercolor painting, "The Kite Maker." The painting shows a man making a kite while various pops of burnt orange and bright blues contrast darker colors in the background.
"I was quite surprised and honored," said Liu about the award. "Because I remember last year, the winner was an amazing artist who I also know and admire greatly. The caliber in the show is usually quite good, and I didn't expect to win."
Originally from Beijing, Liu has lived in the Pacific Northwest since moving to the United States. She remembers always drawing and painting at a young age, and she later took art courses at the University of Washington.
Liu isn't a full-time artist, but she says it's important for Beaverton to have shows like BAM! to highlight other artists in need of income during COVID-19.
"I do think that whatever way we can help (artists) from getting help from the city or just the community is important," she said. "People having more outlets in terms of communicating and interacting with each other (and) doing commerce virtually. The more outlets we have, (then) the less dangerous avenues people have to do this."
When asked about her favorite medium, Liu said it's painting, specifically watercolor. She says it's convenient to use watercolor while spending time at home with her children because there are fewer toxic materials included in the paint.
As a parent and an artist during COVID-19, both worlds collide more than Liu's used to.
"It's also just easy to clean up, and I just don't have a lot of time cleaning things up these days," she said with a chuckle. "So, that's the convenience factor, and I mean, I grew to love it too."
According to Beaverton officials, more than $5,000 of juried artworks were purchased and about 1,500 guests viewed the art show during October.
Liu was excited that so many people viewed the show because art can be a "solitary activity, but you're trying to communicate something."
She added, "So, having other people look at it, you know that you're communicating with somebody and not just into the void."
Other winners include Joanne Kollman for her oil painting, "Looking Forward," which won "Staff's Choice." Aabha Barve also won "Mayor's Choice" for the acrylic painting named, "Soothing Spring."
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