Battle Ground art show lets local talent shine

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor



Art show winners

Juried winners from this year’s Battle Ground Art Alliance Spring Show and Sale:

• Best of Show: Isaac Smith.

• Best Interpretation of Theme (Imagination): Veronica Lima.

• Two-dimensional art: Katey Sandy, first place; Millie Kimery, second place; Fay Kahn, third place.

• Three-dimensional art: Ann Cavanaugh, first place; Ember Brotherton, second place; Kara Kreiger McGhee, third place.

On the Web:

photo"Ghost," made from resin with bronze flake by Cyndi Rivers, sits atop a glass case at the Battle Ground Art Alliance's annual show.

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photoIsaac Smith's art glass "Gusty" was named best of show during the 12th annual Battle Ground Art Alliance Spring Show and Sale.

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BATTLE GROUND -- Clark County is quietly home to dozens of talented artists who want to meet and interact with their peers, says Beth Johnson-Burger. That's part of the reason the Battle Ground Art Alliance was born.

Another main reason the alliance organized a dozen years ago was to promote art in a fast-growing community.

Both missions took center stage this weekend at the group's 12th annual Spring Art Show and Sale, held again this year at the Battle Ground Community Center.

"The amount of talent hidden in the hills here is amazing," said Johnson-Burger, alliance president and an artist in pastels and watercolor.

The annual show has several functions. First, it provides a way for artists to connect with each other and the public. It calls attention to the high quality of art produced by Southwest Washington artists. And it's the nonprofit group's largest annual fundraiser, funding not only the alliance, but grants and an art scholarship to a Clark College student through the Clark College Foundation.

The art on display reflected many media, from watercolors to oil painting, sculpture to fiber arts, art glass to photography.

The two-day show was on pace to beat last year's attendance of about 500. Those who came out could view 191 pieces by more than 80 Southwest Washington artists -- despite "Battle Ground" in its name, the alliance is open to all local artists, from Longview to Vancouver.

This was a juried show, meaning that professional artists judged each piece and decided upon the awards. A People's Choice award was also conferred, and several local businesses stepped up to sponsor other awards, said Michael Kay, a Vancouver photographer and alliance member who took the lead on organizing this year's show.

Not that the show was effete. At one point on Sunday, Johnson-Burger slipped off her shoes when her feet started to hurt, and some patrons greeted their friends and neighbors by name. Live music added to the atmosphere.

The Battle Ground Art Alliance got its start in 2001, when a local woman, Linda Kliewer, realized there needed to be an organized presence for art in Battle Ground. The group's first show was held outdoors in a city park.

That's not likely to happen again soon. The alliance has already reserved the community center for the 2014 show, Johnson-Burger said.

Craig Brown: 360-735-4514;