The first of many events that will take place under Main Street Alexander City’s newest lighting project, the annual Lake Martin Living magazine Art in the Alley art contest took place under clear skies Friday night with 59 pieces from local artists. This year’s contest included 32 artists who submitted 14 photographs, 40 paintings and five 3D/sculptured works, a new category for this year’s event.

Mimi Gersham Amerson’s Crab Basket took the blue ribbon in the painting class with John Denney’s Barred Owl winning second place and Ildiko Andrews taking third with Dadeville Court Square Parade.

“I like the movement and the composition,” Dorothy Littleton of the Tallapoosa School of Art, who judged the painting category, said of Andrews’ entry. 

“The crabs are just awesome, and I know that birds are really hard,” she said of the first and second place winners.

She awarded honorable mentions to Barbara Kazmierczak’s Blue Heron and Marcia Hodges’ collection of brightly painted fish.

Megan Mullins of Megan Mullins Photography judged the photography class, awarding first place to Kay Alkire Brummal for Bennet and second place to Debbie Blackmon’s Cousin Crew. Third place in the photography class went to John Denney for his photograph of wood ducks on a branch. Mullins noted the vibrancy of the colors in Brummal’s photo and complimented the black and white treatment that Blackmon gave her subjects.

She also honorably mentioned Pamela Patterson’s Sunflowers and Brummal’s Walking on Water.

In the 3D/sculpture class, judge Will York of Raining Dogs Studio and Gallery in Dadeville chose Jane Wood’s art-in-clay entry Direction for the first place award. Dana Fuller’s Blastin Glass placed second and Gary Oliver took third for Copper Blue Gill.

Sandra Speakman’s Be Still – Psalm 46:10 was awarded the People’s Choice prize.

First place winners took home $200; second place entries won $150; and third place prizes were $100. The People’s Choice award, sponsored by River Bank and Trust, also won $100.

Local artists Jim Denney, Makaila Sims and John Denney live painted during the exhibit.

More than 80 people attended the event, which was sponsored by Alabama Press Association, Main Street Alexander City, Gunn Homes and Land and Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors.

Patrick Barnett provided the musical entertainment for the event. Ocie & Belle’s opened a cash bar in the alley for the exhibit and awards reception, and Nannie Bell’s and L&Js Concessions set up food trucks.

Exhibit equipment was provided by the Alexander City Schools, and Alexander City Theatre II provided the stage for Barnett.

The lighting installed above the alley the previous afternoon lent an elegant atmosphere, as did Linda Ewing’s table decorations, which carried an outdoors art theme.