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I Heart MB Art Contest Winners Named

Jan 30, 2015 11:56AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

"It's All About the Beach" by Karen Myers

The "I Heart MB" art contest entries depicted the Manhattan Beach Pier, holiday fireworks, volleyball, and the walk streets - but ultimately it was a painting of kids on the beach that took home the top prize.

Manhattan Beach resident David Dixon earned first place for his pastel work titled "Priceless Beach Time," a portrait of two children playing in the sand as the sun sets. Ironically, the artwork was something that Dixon had created while in a pastel art class run by the Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Department. "I was thinking I should practice doing some beach scenes," he said, grinning.

Dixon's artwork was chosen from among 30 entries this year. Fifteen entries are being displayed at City Hall, and those pieces will remain on display through February 20. The top winners were announced at a reception on January 29, when the exhibit was unveiled to the public.

Other winners included Peggy Sullivan, who earned second place for her photo "Wetsuits Hung on Pier Railing with Care." Karen Myers won third place for a mixed media work titled "It's All About the Beach." Honorable mention went to Luisa Milicent for a watercolor called "Downhill to the Beach."

Mayor Wayne Powell, who launched the idea for the contest, said that he wanted to give locals an opportunity to express what they love about their city. The contest, now in its second year, brought out the incredible talent of Manhattan Beach residents: "When I saw all the entries, I knew in my mind that they were all winners. I'm sure glad I didn't have to be the judge," Powell said.

The judges included Don Spencer, an artist and art teacher who is a 70-year resident of Manhattan Beach; John Scott, another artist and longtime Manhattan Beach resident; and Jackie May, one of the city's cultural arts commissioners.

Entrants ranged from professional artists to elementary school children, and the artists took inspiration from iconic events to everyday situations.

Kathy Bauer, whose entry titled "Staycation" depicts a dog waiting for his owner to return from surfing, said she took a photo of a "perfect moment" when the sun hit the house, and then turned it into a pastel portrait that portrays a classic Manhattan Beach scene. "When I saw the ad for the competition, I immediately thought it would be perfect," she said.

First-place winner Dixon noted that the beach is an integral part of his everyday life. "I go down to the beach a lot - I run down there all the time." A resident of Manhattan Beach since 1974, he added that he hardly feels like he's lived here a long time at all. "Time flies by when you're having fun," he said.

Fifteen pieces of artwork from the contest will remain on display at City Hall,1400 Highland Avenue, through February 20.

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