Before the third annual ArtinMe exhibit opened on October 13, Claire Hancock was unsure if she was going to attend.
The painter from Bremen had one of her works selected by a jury to hang in the show at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation, but she said she was unsure if she was going to be present when the doors opened.
But someone from the show called her to tell her it would be a good idea if she made an appearance.
It turned out that her presence was required – to pick up the envelope containing the first-place prize she had just won.
Her piece, an oil painting titled “Pink 'Knock-Out' Roses” was able to beat out more than 100 other entries for the coveted Best in Show ribbon.
As it turned out, the painting couldn't have been more aptly named, Hancock said.
“I am knocked out,” she said. “I was completely surprised.”
Hancock's oil painting of roses arranged in a bowl on top of a lace-covered table was one of more than 100 on display. There is also voting underway for a people's choice award, which will conclude on Saturday. The exhibit runs until November 3.
ArtinMe was created to highlight and showcase different mediums of art being created in Maine. This year, more than 250 pieces were submitted for the opening.
Rockland-based painter Connie Hayes was the jurist that decided which pieces to include as well as the winners of the event.
Having a well-known and highly-regarded artist pick his work meant a lot to second-place winner Dan Corey, who cited Hayes as an influence on his own work.
The Topsham native's piece “Glory Bound” depicts an early-morning lobsterboat, alone on the water.
After he learned his painting had been picked as the second-place piece, Corey said it was hard to put his feelings into words.
“Needless to say, it feels great,” he said. “It's been a good year. I've been trying to get some things notice, and I feel like (ArtinMe) is one of the best ways to get noticed.”
After not having any of his pieces selected for 2011's ArtinMe, Corey said he was ecstatic to learn that two of his paintings had made the walls of the Boothbay Region Art Foundation.
“It feels like Christmas in October,” he said.
Corey's oil painting was taken from something he sees almost every day.
Corey said that he can often be found painting on the docks. “Glory Bound” was a result of his time by the water.
“A lot of those guys are being hung out to dry,” he said. “With the price of lobster being what it is, they are being left out in the cold.
“I wanted to capture that solitary moment when they are out there, when no one sees them.”
In addition to Hancock and Corey, Larry Kinney took third for “Potemkin.” Gardner Vega Phaetow's sculpture “Badfish” and Carlton Plummer's painting “Winter Light” won honorable mention awards.
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 633-4620 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @BBRegisterBen.