A Famous Artist Gives Recognition to Local Artists

"I was not expecting it, but you know, it was great," Sandra Halat, a local artist said.

Sandra Halat felt great when she won the overall award at the Singing River Art Association art show in Pascagoula.

"It feels really good because I'm a teacher at J.D., so I don't normally get to paint as much as I like," Halat said.

Halat painted an oil painting titled "The Red Robe". She thinks winning this award is worth a lot more than the $500.00 check that came with it.

"It gives you the recognition, and it gives you the sport because when you go back to the classroom, you can say, 'See, everything I've been telling you is right'," Halat said.

New Orleans watercolor artist Robert Guthrie was the judge for this year's art show. He says Halat faced stiff competition from other local artists to receive this award.

"I've judged a number of shows recently, and this one was probably the toughest because they're so many wonderful pieces," Guthrie said.

He noticed South Mississippi influences in many of the pieces like Susie Ranager's painting of a Horn Island landscape that received the "Feeling of the Gulf Coast" award.

"It's just so easy to go to Horn Island if you've got a boat, and I just find a lot of inspiration there," Ranager said.

As Sandra Halat talked to other artists after receiving her two awards, she thinks an artists's inspiration and talent can come from anywhere.

"Oh, I teach this to my students all the time. Anyone can be an artist, anyone," Halat said.

Twenty-five cash awards were given to different artists who showcased their work. This was also the 25th year for the art association to have the show.