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Local artists take home awards for work
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Members of the Southern Heartland Art Guild recently showcased their art at the Monroe Art Guild's annual Members Juried Art Exhibition. In the end, three Southern Heartland members took home awards.

Carol Veliotis of Covington, Beverly Smith of Conyers and Nita Bakay of Monroe each won a ribbon for work they submitted.

Veliotis won first place in sculpture for "Wild Poppies," a piece made entirely from old rusted metal pieces.

"I loved the use of recycled materials, old ugly things turned into an interesting, fun and lovely piece," Anne Jenkins, who judged the entries, said. "The composition and use of a limited color palette was very well done."

Veliotis also won third place in sculpture for "Vinnie the Vineyard Sheep," a sheep made from wine corks, wood dowels and leather.

"Recycling and having fun screams from this delightful piece," Jenkins added.

Smith, the guild's newest juried member, took home third place honors in painting for her watercolor of koi fish aptly named Dreamers.

"It is a very good painting with an interesting perspective, good movement and composition," Jenkins added.

Smith also won a purchase award for the same piece.

Bakay received an honorable mention award for her oil portrait, Erin. In addition, Bakay picked up a commission from an admiring patron who liked the portrait.

"Erin was an excellent portrait," Jenkins said. "I felt like I knew the object, and her personality really comes through."

Jenkins, owner of the Point of Art gallery in Union Point, conducted the blind judging after each piece had the artist's name taped over in order to maintain the integrity of the judging process. In all, contestants entered 158 pieces of art including pottery, sculpture, paintings and photographs.

Each member of the guild regularly showcases their work at the Southern Heartland Art Gallery off the square in downtown Covington.