Three local artists take top honors at Keller's Got Talent

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Three Best in Show winners were chosen at this year’s Keller's Got Talent public art show.

Best in Show judging, for artwork by the 42 locals who entered, was done by three groups—professional artists, employees of the city of Keller and by the Keller Public Arts Board.

The annual event showcases a variety of art from Keller residents including oil, acrylic and watercolor painting, sculptures, pottery, pencil and charcoal drawings, photography and fabric art.

Winners were announced during an Oct. 10 reception at Keller Town Hall.

Lee Hertel won the judges award with his sculpture “Sprinkled Turquoise,” Helen Dement took the Keller Public Art Board’s top honor for “Wise Ol’ Owl,” a pastel, and Wes Gillum got the most votes by city employees for his pencil sketch “Greater Love Hath no Man.”

Along with the Best in Show winners, the professional artist group voted on Honorable Mentions in 11 categories. Winners include Kim Collins and Sara Miller in acrylic painting; Rhonda Ackley and Jerry Mahle in ceramics; Melanie Wesley in crafts; Wes Gillum in drawing; Becky Hicks and Jane Metz in oil painting; Jennifer Bourgeois in mixed media; Helen Dement in pastels; Jim Humphrey and Tyler Totin in photography; Richard Gaca in printmaking; Terri Ford in sculpture; and Nancy Maas in watercolor.

“This was a big surprise for me,” said Sara Miller, about her mention for “Inspiration Garden.”

Miller, the first artist to be featured at the Keller Public Arts Show in 2008 with her fiber showing of art quilts, said she is amazed to see how the show has grown through the years.

Lee Hertel was also surprised to win, never expecting to walk away with a Best in Show award.

“I’ve never entered anything in a contest,” he said.

Hertel, a commercial banker, said his sculpture was sitting in his office and a customer convinced him to enter it in an art show.

He said the sculpture is the first and only piece of art he has made so far, but the win inspires him to create more.

Wes Gillum, a full-time artist who moved to Keller three months ago, said he was pleased his pencil sketch took top honors.

“It’s the first piece that has been in my head that I actually got to put on paper,” he said.

Gillum’s sketch shows a little girl standing under a folded flag being passed at a military funeral.

“This series is my tribute to all the friends who never made it back,” he said.

Brenda Wyatt, director of Keller Public Arts Board, said Gillum’s sketch will also be displayed in the November public art show, which showcases work from local veterans to honor veterans everywhere and remember their service to the country.

“I’m always blown away from the talent that comes out of this area,” Wyatt said. “The artists are so creative, I never know what I’m going to get.”

The free show remains on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 30 at Keller Town Hall, 1100 Bear Creek Parkway.

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