Edmonds Marsh Estuary Advocates (EMEA) has named the winners of its Paint the Marsh contest. A total of 46 artists took on the challenge, including many who could be seen painting outdoors on a drizzly, cold day in January, organizers said.
A distinguished jury considered each work on its merits as art and for its representation of the Edmonds Marsh today, or of the Edmonds Marsh Estuary the group hopes to see in the future. Three winners — one for each category plus three runners up and three honorable mentions — were recognized.
The winners are:
Essence of the Marsh
First prize: Johanne Friedrichs
Runner up: Dawn Ambrey
Honorable mention: Ray Braun
Vision of the Future Marsh
First prize: Lorraine Goddard
Runner up: Alejandra Gos
Honorable mention: Aaron Rutten
Youth category (artists under age 18)
First prize: Audrey Hartman (age 16)
Runner up: Esther Arrington (age 12)
Honorable mention: Mary Ann Jones (age 8)
Contest rules allowed the artist to choose the medium, and the winners completed their work in oils, pastels and even digital media. The winning artworks can be seen on the EMEA website.
Jurist Marni Muir presented cash prizes on behalf of EMEA to the winners at the monthly Green Drinks gathering held at Salish Boathouse July 27. The public will be able to view the winning paintings at a location still to be announced.
“I love going to the marsh and taking a walk there,” Friedrichs said. “It is close to my studio. I have a studio at Graphite. When I take a break, I take walks and the marsh is one of the places I go. The colors in the fall inspire me in the marsh. I did this “plein air” painting in the fall. I was happy to see this contest happening, and I am so honored to have won the first prize.”
Lorraine Goddard said she was “honored and delighted that my painting has been chosen by the judges. This award is not only wonderful for me as an artist, but also personally — those are my own children in the painting, and the Edmonds Marsh and waterfront have always been very special to our family.”
The overall quality of submissions was outstanding, according to jurists Marni Muir, an artist, art broker and art dealer, and Lynn Hanson, a gallery owner, member of the Lynnwood Arts Commission and on the governing board of Art Walk Edmonds.
“I was very impressed as to the number of entries that were submitted and the thoughtfulness that went into their choice of composition,” Muir said. “Beautiful work by everyone. Of course, there are the standouts but to me, everyone was a winner and I admire every one of the artists who chose to submit a painting. It was a beautiful landscape with such diversity.”
Muir has lived in Edmonds almost her entire life and been involved in the local arts community for more than 40 years. She demonstrated her passion for protecting the Edmonds Marsh in 2014, when she completed an art installation at the marsh itself, as noted in this My Edmonds News article.
“I think many of the paintings really caught the essence of the marsh,” said Hanson, owner of the Lynn Hanson Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Hanson, who has an art studio in Lynnwood, is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute.
The Edmonds Marsh Estuary Advocates is a grassroots environmental organization made up of local volunteers who are concerned about the condition of the Edmonds Marsh and its potential to support orcas and salmon.
“It was important to involve local artists in providing a vision of what the Edmonds Marsh could be and what it is now,” said event organizer Laurie Sorensen.
The group supports creating a true estuary, with removal of the 1,600-foot pipe that connects the marsh to Puget Sound and restoration of as much green space as possible for the protection of many different species in the years to come.