Image: Eileen McCarney Muldoon, Morning Prayers, 2021. Photography, 24″ x 16″

Over 85 members of the Jamestown Arts Center have their work on display for the annual Members’ Show. From that pool of talented artists working across diverse media, this year’s “Best in Show” was awarded to Eileen McCarney Muldoon for Morning Prayers (2021), a 24″ x 16″ photograph. Mark Dornan was awarded Second Place for Kids and Guns (2022), an 8″ sphere in cast silver and bronze and Kelly McDermott took Third Place for Settled (2022), a three-piece stoneware wall installation.

Five additional artists earned Honorable Mentions: Peter Elsworth for Red, Black, and Blue (‘War in the Continuation of Politics by Other Means’), 2022 in acrylic, glass, bullet casings on wood; Eric Hovermale for Adrift, (2022), photograph; Michael Stricklin for Newton Ave #2 (2022) in acrylic; Christopher Terry for Improvised Ritual, (2022), oil on canvas; and Josy Wright, Shoreline (2020), an etching. 

Eric Telfort, an artist, illustrator and RISD Professor served as the judge of this year’s Members’ Show. He described the “Best in Show” winner Morning Prayers as “When a piece begs me to ask questions and then answer them, and then ask questions and answer them and have a sort of conversation, it becomes very, very powerful.” Eric continues, “To me this [piece] represents a culmination of this show: which is a sense of hope, one that begs to be asked many questions that can be answered by the art community, and in a formal sense, composed in such a way that if you remove any piece of this composition, it falls apart.”

Eileen McCarney Muldoon is a fine arts photographer living and working in Jamestown, RI.

For winning “Best in Show,” Eileen is awarded a solo exhibition in the Jamestown Arts Center’s small gallery during the 2023 Members’ Show. On making his Best in Show selection, Eric adds: “Even after going back and forth and really cementing my decision, I kept coming back to this piece. Beyond intellectualism and philosophical reasons for why we study art, I do think that there is this quality of art where you just like looking at it and I felt like this was one of those pieces … I just liked looking at it, as simple as that sounds. Eileen did a great job of catching a very quiet moment, one that is complex, one that has a very strong idea of innocence and transcends time and space.”

Karen Conway, Exhibition Director of the Jamestown Arts Center, says “We are so fortunate to have such a creative and talented group of Members at the JAC that together make up an incredible Members’ Show each year. It’s one of our favorite times of the year.”

In conjunction with the Members’ Show, Tracy Weisman, the winner of the 2022 Best-in-Show award, opened a solo exhibition in the small gallery called Sort It Out. Weisman will hold a JAC Talk about her exhibition on Thursday, November 3 at 6 pm. 

The Members’ Show and Tracy Weisman: Sort It Out are on view during regular gallery hours from October 28 through December 3, 2022 (Wednesday – Saturday, 11 am–3 pm).

Exhibitions at the JAC are free and open to all. Many of the works are available for purchase on the Jamestown Arts Center’s online store with proceeds benefiting the individual artists and the JAC. 

About Eric Telfort, Judge of the 2022 Members’ Show

Eric Telfort is an illustrator and fine artist who earned his BFA in Illustration from RISD and, after working as a production artist in the video game industry, an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Telfort has lectured throughout the US and internationally in Zimbabwe, where he was a Visual Arts Initiative artist in residence. In 2019 he received a Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson fellowship to explore the concept of creativity in poverty, and to pursue a personal independent visual novel. He is a Professor at RISD.