The VVAA reception was full of dreams

The VVAA reception was full of dreams | Pro Club Bd


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Children of the Mesquite Youth Theater Players perform at the awards reception for July’s VVAA exhibit at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center last week. PHOTO BY VERNON ROBISON/The Progress

The awards reception for the July competitive exhibition at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center was unusually lively last week. More than two dozen talented youngsters from the Mesquite Youth Theater Players performed at the ceremony.

The troupe’s musical performance brought a crowd to the event; unusual during the slow summer months. Parents, siblings, friends and other family members of the young artists filled the gallery on Thursday, July 21 to hear the music and see the art on display all around them.

The fledgling theater company, led by director Wende Wolfe-Killinger and music director Mitzi Bender, recaps some highlights from their successful musical productions Beauty and the Beast and 101 Dalmatians, both performed at the Mesquite Community Theater earlier this summer.

The children’s performance gave the gathering a great boost of energy and life and put a smile on everyone’s face.

The theme of this month’s exhibition was “Let Your Dreams Fly”. The artworks submitted by local artists were as imaginative and whimsical as the show’s theme.

Children from the Mesquite Youth Theater Players perform “Be Our Guest,” one of the numbers from the popular production “Beauty and the Beast” put on by the group earlier this summer. PHOTO BY VERNON ROBISON/The Progress

The Best of Show winner was a watercolor called “I Wish I Was…” by Cheryl Sachse. It was an energetic piece, showing two boys on an imaginary flying adventure while sitting on the floor together in an old wooden box. It was perfect for the theme of the month. The play also won the People’s Choice Award at the exhibition.

Sachse also won second place in the competition with a whimsical watercolor titled “Fly me to the Moon.” This remarkable piece showed a young girl flying through the night sky on the back of a magical moose.

An acrylic painting with the same title “Fly me to the Moon” won first place for the exhibition. This painting was a kind of duet painted as a collaboration between artists Floyd Johnson and Kathleen Ludwig.

The painting featured a close-up of Frank Sinatra, who was famous for singing the song of the same name as the painting. Sinatra’s iconic blue eyes were portrayed with amazing vibrancy. In the distance behind Sinatra, against the dark background, is a jet plane approaching the moon.

In an interview, Johnson said that he came up with the idea for the painting and started with the eyes himself. Then he had the idea of ​​dividing the painting in half and working on the completion together with Ludwig. He painted the right half, showing the brightly lit side of Sinatra’s face. Ludwig took the half that lay in the shade.

Local photographer Randy Bauman won third place with an intriguing infrared photo entitled Where Dreams Are Made.

Bauman also received an honorable mention for a photo titled “Dancing Dreams.” He also received a second honorable mention for a dynamic digital photographic artwork entitled Soaring Dreams.

Other Honorable Mention Awards went to Rachelle Knight for a colorful painting entitled Oh The Places You’ll Go; and Lynn Craven for a fantastic acrylic and pyrography piece entitled Pegasus in your Dreams.

Mayor’s Choice was awarded to a poignant watercolor entitled Father of the Bride by artist Linda Harris.
“I chose this one because of the depth of their facial expressions,” said Mesquite Mayor Al Litman, who attended the reception.

Harris explained that the painting was taken from a photo of a friend and his daughter on the daughter’s wedding day.

“I just loved it because it was so beautiful and simple,” Harris said. “I made a few small adjustments to the photo to focus on the facial expressions I wanted. That’s part of the fun of painting from photos.”
July’s Let Your Dreams Fly Exhibition was sponsored by Mesquite Gaming. Photos of all winning works can be viewed at

The competition for the month of August is themed “Abandoned Places”.

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