“Skillfully and beautifully rendered” were just some of the words used to describe ‘The Watchers’, Aarin Rinas’ oil on panel painting that took home top prize at the Winter Festival Art Show and Sale.
Rinas’ work was the second piece he’s entered in a Winter Festival exhibit. The Saskatoon-based artists said he was happy, but surprised, to see it named Best in Show.
“I was a little overwhelmed,” Rinas said on Friday. “It’s the first time I’ve won anything for my painting since high school in the ‘90s, but I haven’t put myself out there much.”
Rinas entered the show and sale for the first time in 2021. He said he’s increased his painting activities over the past year, and decided to enter ‘The Watchers’ to see how people would react to it.
He described the painting as a very personal piece of art, so winning Best in Show meant a lot to him.
“It’s been great being a part of the art community,” Rinas said. “Winning this has just been great for me personally in my mental state right now. It’s a validation of all the years that I’ve been painting, so it’s been nice to be a part of it.
“I’ve always loved painting and drawing,” he added. “I find it challenging. I just find it relaxing and very fulfilling.”
Guest curator Allyson Glenn installed Rinas’ work in the Architecture section of the show. She liked the quality of the painting, and said it “evoked thoughts of ‘inner and outer’ and presented the body as a landscape.”
Rinas said it’s been a difficult two years, and painting ‘The Watchers’ helped him understand his experiences.
“It’s definitely about the inner and outer struggle that we’ve been going through for the past couple of years,” he explained. “(It’s) just trying to understand my feelings and just visualize my anxieties.”
The Best in Show award is sponsored by the City of Prince Albert and On the Avenue Artisan’s Gallery. The winner receives $200, and a pot by Mel Bolen.
Marsha Schuld took the $175 second place prize with her piece ‘Edgar’, while Diana Roelens and Cristine Andrew-Stuckel took third and $150 for ‘Tangled Trees with Burnt Log Study’.
The Guy Rutter memorial People’s Choice Award winner will be announced after March 26.
There were 120 artists who entered pieces in the 2022 exhibit. The opening reception and awards shows are available for viewing on the Winter Festival YouTube page.
The show runs until March 26.