93rd Annual McLean County Amateur Art Exhibition Award Winners (2020)

Merwin Medal – Best of Show – Lizzie Lindenbaum, “Grand Canyon Sunrise”

Ashley Ritter Most Promising Art Award – Olivia Sidem, Normal Community High School, “Daydream”

HIGH SCHOOL                                    1st PLACE                                                             2nd PLACE

Painting                                               Kolin Wilkins                                                       Austin Lopez     

Graphics                                              Taylor Sondgeroth                                            Bryn Beemsterboer

Photography                                       Gabe Tobin                                                        Megan Brush

Sculpture                                             Colin Norsworthy                                             Michelle Soukup


UNIVERSITY                                        1st PLACE                                                             2nd PLACE

Painting                                               Jenny CastaƱon                                                 Max Martin

Graphics                                             Sam Halihan                                                       Erika Shiba

Photography                                      Shayla Moorman                                               Jessica Dougall

Sculpture                                            Emma Oliver                                                      Antonia DiPrima


ADULT                                                  1st PLACE                                                             2nd PLACE

Painting                                                Judy Steffens                                                     Allyson Frink      

Graphics                                              Sean-Thomas Gunnell                                     Cathie Haab

Photography                                       Rashod Taylor                                                   Georgi Baird

Sculpture                                             Marjorie Hauge                                                 Deb Neumayer

This exhibition and awards are made possible by the generosity of these sponsors:

The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Jerry Antonini, Paula Aschim and Tim Garvey, Miles and Ruth Bair, R. Charles and Laura S. Baue, Gail and Galen Crow, Susan Emmerson, Robert Fisher and Linda Willis Fisher, Deanna Frautschi and Alan Bedell, John and Marilyn Freese, Ed and Judy Hines, Brian and Yvonne Hoop, Mike and Alexis Kalish, Sheila Lamberson and Cheryl Divine, Cathy Pratt and Dave Templeton, Jim and Pam Raymond, Laura and Bob Reardon, Robert and Connie Stefl, Tracey Sullivan Covert, Lynn and Patsy Webber, Stephen R. and Beverly A. Young 

McLean County Arts Center received 211 entries for this year's competition. The juror, Aaron Yount, selected 102 artworks for the exhibition and awarded 26 cash prizes for outstanding works of art by amateur McLean County artists.

Born and raised in rural Illinois, Aaron Yount developed an appreciation for the outdoors. His subject matter ranges from hummingbirds at his studio’s feeders to the great bison herds of Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley in the West. While naturalism and firsthand study of nature are visible in his work, he does not abandon the use of good design and other sound artistic principles.

Following his residency at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Aaron began painting the wildlife of the Rocky Mountains. “East Meets West” has been the focus of his work since leaving his position at the Blauvelt Museum. 

Juror’s Statement

"It was a challenge and an honor to serve as juror for the 93rd Annual McLean County Amateur Art Exhibition at the McLean County Arts Center. Both the quantity and quality of works submitted this year was impressive. It was a pleasure to see so many strong pieces in a variety of styles.

To offer one's work to be considered for public exhibit takes great courage. I would encourage the artists that created work that did not make this year's exhibition to continue in their endeavors and to enter their work in the future. Congratulations to the winners of this year's show!"

- Aaron Yount

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