Runion and Dale Named Best in Show

Published: May 12, 2022

Congratulations to Christy Runion and Ashley Dale, winners of College of Western Idaho’s 2022 Juried Art Exhibition. Runion’s submission, a photograph titled “I Couldn’t Save Me from Myself”, and Dale’s submission, a drawing titled “Growing Up Artist”, were selected by juror, Randy Van Dyck, a Boise-based artist and owner of Capitol Contemporary Gallery.

“It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was in your position having my work judged at a student art show,” shared Van Dyck when announcing the winners. “As artists, you will spend a lifetime having your work judged by others. It requires that you develop very thick skin, courage, and perseverance to follow your artistic vision, whatever it may be and regardless of the obstacles.”

Van Dyke scored submissions based on initial impression, artist statements, technical aspects, and skillful handling of the chosen medium, leading to the selection of Runion and Dales standout pieces.  

“I was very pleased with the and quality and variety of the art submitted,” he said. “Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey.”

I Couldn’t Save Me from Myself
Christy Runion

“As she gazed at herself in the mirror, she longed to wrap herself in her arms as a blanket of comfort. Through the years, the world had damaged her both physically and mentally, and repeatedly. She cared so much for others, lending a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on any chance she got, but more than anything, she longed to save herself.”

Growing Up Artist
Ashley Dale

“During my studies of art, like many other artists, I practiced using still-life models. I was captured by the depth of meaning simple objects could hold. In this piece, I wanted to commemorate my journey as an artist and hopefully any artist that dreamed from a young age of creating artwork as a career starting with the most simple tool many start with at a young age, colorful crayons. I can remember at a young age sitting in the pews at church with my family. My grandmother would always bring big fun coloring books and a whole box of coloring crayons. I would then spend the next hour coloring fairies or princesses while the sermons went on in the background. The colors I chose for the crayons are also symbolic of aspects that were a part of my childhood. Pink is symbolism for peace and calm, which, thinking back on childhood, the peace and calm came from the naive outlook on life we had as children. I also positioned this color seeming like it’s about to fall out as that my childhood was somewhat peaceful. Peaceful in the way I didn’t have to worry about bigger problems such as paying the bills or having a job. I did, however, have to deal with the divorce of my parents and having to move away from friends and family. Purple is symbolic of the endless imagination. As a young girl, I loved to play make believe. From imaginary friends to crazy make believe stories. Yellow and orange symbolize the happiness and curiosity of childhood. The light candle symbolizes learning, growth, light, and warmth. It's the spark of learning the love for art and the growth of learning a new skill. The Ball glass jar represents the new tools used to explore the world of art. I put an unfinished drawing I made from inspiration from a quote from the Disney movie Mulan. Mulan’s father said, “Oh look, that blossom is late, but I’ll bet that when it blooms it will be the most beautiful of them all.” This quote gave me great comfort at a time when I was struggling with my self-worth, not only in my art but my self-worth in general. I also look at it in a way that shows I am still growing as an artist as well as a person. We all have our own time to blossom, and, when we do, it’s the most beautiful thing that happens to us.”

Both artists received a $150 cash prize for their winning entries.

Watch Juror, Randy Van Dyke, Announce the Winners of CWI’s 2022 Juried Art Exhibition

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