Creative inspiration abound at Gallery Art Show

(Caloosa Belle/Danika J. Hopper) Martha Cantu and her proud son standing in front of her colored pencil portrait that won Best in Show

Local non-profit, Arts of the Inland, held its annual spring “Inspirations” juried art show reception last Friday, April 5 at their main gallery, the Barron Park House Gallery. Despite the stormy weather, the event was filled with great food, wine, a fun silent auction, and some exasperatingly beautiful art from local artists.

Best in Show & People’s Choice was awarded to the crazy-talented Martha Roy Cantu for her hyper-realistic portraits. At first glance, Cantu’s art appears to be photography, but incredibly, it is skilled use of colored pencils that bring her subject’s faces to life.

First placed went to the brilliant watercolor painter, Sharon Rapp, who is one of the gallery’s consistent top-placing artists.

Second Place went to Barbara Swift, who creates vibrantly-colored, ocean-themed paintings. She also teaches a painting class the first Sunday of each month at the Gallery. Third Place winner was another watercolor artist, Susan Oehl.

First Honorable Mention went to the innovative Cristo Soto who often exhibits thought provoking paintings at the gallery.

Second Honorable Mention was Vicki Green, for her interesting and unique glass and reclaimed wood 3d submission.

Last but certainly not least was the Third Honorable Mention winner, Diana Carkin, with a lifelike watercolor that leaves you like you can actually feel the cool shade of the tunnel in her painting. There is a wide variety of medium and styles of entries from local artists in this year’s show.

The show will remain hanging throughout the month of April, and there is no admission fee to visit the gallery, so stop by and check it out. Arts of the Inland would like to send out a special thank you to all of its members and sponsors for their continued support.

(Caloosa Belle/Danika J. Hopper) Martha Cantu and her proud son standing in front of her colored pencil portrait that won Peoples Choice.

Danika can be reached at

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