Art Fair Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Think: Frieze New York. Art Basel Switzerland. Paris Photo LA. artMKT San Francisco. The latest Art Fair Challenge was inspired by art fairs all over the globe and we asked the Minted Community to submit innovative, envelope-pushing works of art to continue to grow our offerings—taking risks was highly encouraged! There were no design restrictions in this challenge and we accepted all mediums reproducible on paper. What we received was so exciting and we’re thrilled to announce the Special Prize Winners who stood out in the categories below!

Photography Award (for the best photographic art print): “Threaded Line” by Erin Niehenke

At first glance, “Threaded Line” appears to be a quiet print paying homage to the domestic arts. Upon closer inspection, there are many elements at play. A line of vintage spools features a rainbow of colored thread set against a bright white background.  The line diagonally intersects the background with a lone spool knocked on its side in the foreground.  The warm tones of the wood spools contrast with the background, and the eye’s focus goes back and forth between the side lying spool and the line.

Erin Niehenke lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her family and revels in the creative process.

Painterly Award (for the best art print that incorporates the effect of a brushstroke and the unique texture seen in paintings): “Falling Strokes” by Kelsey McNatt

A variety of marks make up this piece by Kelsey McNatt: lines, organic shapes, drips, and splatters. Using contrasting opacity and forms, lines move horizontally and vertically across the page, resulting in an energetic play of gestures. Evoking a window and ceiling of bars, it plays to one’s imagination in addition to its lovely abstract qualities.

Kelsey joined the Minted community earlier this year and has been a prolific contributor to our challenges. Working across a variety of styles from monochromatic abstract to colorful images of flora and fauna, she proves herself to be a versatile artist.

Innovation Award (for the best art print that pushes our boundaries – and yours!): “Refreshingly Different” by Carrie Webster

This photograph caught our eye during the challenge review – and perfectly captured the idea behind the Innovation Award. A composite of several photographs, this image is striking for the differentiated clothing pin. Rows of painted white pins surround a multicolored anthropomorphic version.  The mix of color and pattern, including stripes, dots and solids, creates an eccentric combination that stand out from the others. This piece celebrates the unique quality of life and the choice to follow one’s own path.

Carrie Webster is based in Sydney and joined the Minted community over the summer. We are delighted to welcome her!

Color Award (for the best bold, bright, colorful art print): “Stacked” by Loren Willis

The vibrant colors in this photograph create a visual cacophony that earned it the Color Award. A textured orange wall, weathered with time, creates the vivid background. Tightly stacked chairs are propped against the wall on the left corner and radiate a rainbow of hues. The distressed quality of the chairs and corresponding environment generate a nuanced color exploration–which would be a dazzling addition to a wall.

Loren Willis lives in Madison, Mississippi, and says she loves to spend time creating color palettes!

Diptych Award (for the best pair or series of prints): “High Cascades I” and “High Cascades II” by Me Amelia

Taken singularly, the pieces appear to be an abstracted series of lines in a stacked graph shape. Placed together, they form a mountainous elevation, hinted to by the titles “High Cascades I & II”. The precise ink lines are vertically oriented in staccato-like bursts and accented with a moody watercolor sky in pillow-y cloud formations. The limited color palette keeps the focus on the texture variation, juxtaposing the rigid lines with the organically stippled watercolor background.

Me Amelia hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, and is an active member of the Minted community.

Abstract Award (for the best abstract art print): “Colored Intersection” by Lucrecia

Part kaleidoscope, part Venn diagram, the intersecting circles collide on top of a mottled background. Semi-opaque colors feature muted hues with focal points of yellow and red. This is a beautiful example of abstract art – simple but with interesting detail, shape and texture. “Colored Intersection” holds its own, but would also look great paired with other pieces in this series by Lucrecia.

Lucrecia is originally from Argentina and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland. She is a prolific entrant to our challenges and produces a wealth of beautiful and compelling imagery.

Nature Award (for the best art print representing nature or natural settings): “Hercules Beetle” by Misa

A highly realistic watercolor print of a Hercules beetle specimen, we originally thought this image was a photograph. The Hercules beetle is indigenous to Central and South America and noted for its vivid color and horns on the males. The brilliant gold shell is lightly spotted with dark gray with a line segmenting the wings. The beetle’s black forehead and black legs are in stark contrast to the variegated white background. “Hercules Beetle” celebrates the art of nature in all of its glory, and thus is the winner of the Minted Nature Award.

Bay Area artist Misa is a multiple award winner and active participant in the Minted community.

Curator’s Choice Award (for the artwork that most captures the attention of the Minted curatorial team): “Filtered 1” by Oh So Suite

This lovely print takes elements from the op art movement, albeit in a more organic fashion. A series of overlapping circles mixed with color blocks delineates the space and creates a sense of illusion for the eye. The circle appears to be captured in a downward movement while the more transparent images to the left create a temporal sense of fading time. Beautifully abstracted, this image created via sun imprints lends itself to contemplation.

Oh So Suite is a longtime Minted contributor and lives in New York City where she heads a graphic arts studio.

Illustration Award (for the best hand drawn illustration): “Octo” by Leah Reitz Winter

An intricately detailed illustration of an octopus in transit, the cephalopod propels itself to the upper corner of the print. Repeating circles create the pattern in the body and mimic the suction cups on the tentacles. Floating behind the octopus, the tentacles gently curl in space. Focusing on the octopus and the fine details within its body, the background is purposely left blank. This piece would be perfect for a budding naturalist’s room.

Artist Leah Reitz Winter lives in Pennsylvania and enjoys exploring the patterning found in nature and other environs. She is a new addition to our community and we are so happy to have her!

Man About Town Award (for the best art print designed for a sharp, modern guy who embraces art and isn’t afraid of a little color): “Palm Springs” by Pandercraft

This visually arresting architectural print showcases a mid-century home in period appropriate colors. A reversed “L” forms the foundation of a flat wall and is swathed in a dappled red. A block of aqua seems to float in space, cantilevered from the red form, and the remainder of the modular Eames structure is cast in a series of interrelated grays. Strong shadowing falls across the piece, lending further interest to the piece. “Palm Springs” is perfect for the man about town, or for anyone who loves mid-century architecture rendered in crisp colors and lines.

Pandercraft is based in Arizona and delights in the art of design.

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