DISPATCH - May 10, 2012 (10:05 p.m.)

EAST HAMPTON, NY

The opening of Guild Hall's annual Artists Members Exhibition draws plenty of people. You can count on it. The show is a popular one for many reasons: the winner gets a solo show at Guild Hall Museum; a prestigious juror takes a considered look at all the artwork; and exhibitors become a part of a venerable Hamptons art tradition.

Then there's the "You never know" factor. Artwork winners are always a wild card. Past winners don't necessarily win each year. Dark horse picks have people talking. The artwork by The Top Winner (who receives a solo show at the museum) is always viewed. Crowds filled with artists, gallery owners, art lovers and art professionals pack the three galleries, the museum's entrance hall and the brick entrance to Guild Hall.

This year was no exception. The 74th Annual Guild Hall Artists Member Show opened on May 5. The juror was Lilly Wei, an independent curator, essayist and critic who writes regularly for Art in America, Art in America.com and is a contributing editor at ARTnews.

Taking Top Honors is photographer Mary Ellen Bartley for "A Road Divided."

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Top Honors went to Mary Ellen Bartley for her photograph A Road Divided. 16 x 22 inches. Photo: Lauren-Baker. Courtesy Guild Hall.

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The exhibition launch was standing room only until the final 15 minutes. People traffic was so thick that viewing the art is hardly possible. Here's a slice of what it was like to be there:

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Artists Eddie Rehm and Emanuel Buckvar pass out exhibition cards announcing their upcoming show at Davenport & Shapiro Fine Arts at the opening of Guild Hall's Annual Artists Members Exhibition.

Solar gallery director Esperanza Leon, center, with her mom, Blanca Leon, and her child, Carmen McCulley, at the opening of Guild Hall's Artists Members Exhibition.

Guild Hall's chief curator Christina Strassfield with exhibition organizer and museum's assistant curator Michelle Klein.

Daniel Pollera next to his painting “Ditch Plains Sunset, Montauk.” The oil painting won an Honorable Mention.

A trio of Top Honors Winners. Christa Maiwald (2011); Mary Ellen Bartley (2012) and Carolyn Conrad (2008)

Elyse Grant and Lance Corey next to Grant's light sculpture "Fantasy Sea Flower."

Dan Weldon next to his piece "Antarctic Landscape." Weldon is a multiple category winner from various years. He's submitted work into the annual show for over 25 years.

Artists María Schön and Darlene Charneco. Charneco won last year's Catherine and Theo Hios Best Landscape Award.

Artist Andrea Cote next to her work "Body Print Mandala," a four-plate photolithograph. Below is Darlene Charneco's "Deep Sea Memory."

Examining art at Guild Hall's 74th Annual Artists Members Exhibition.

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BASIC FACTS: Guild Hall's 74th Annual Artists Exhibition remains on view through June 10, 2012. On May 19 at noon, Guild Hall assistant curator Michelle Klein interviews winning entrants while touring the exhibition.

Category winners are: Best Abstract: Zoe Breen (“Somera Road”); Best Representational Work: Ann Brandeis (“Conversations on Decay”); Best Photograph: JoAnna McCarthy (Old Red Truck”); Best Work on Paper: Barry McCallion (“Ladders”); Best Sculpture: Michelle Cooke (“Tilted Square 36”); Best Mixed Media: Patricia Feiwel (“Paper, Wood, Scribble”); Catherine and Theo Hios Best Landscape Award: Mark B. Terry (“Beautiful Lonely Pink One”) and Best New Artist: Kyla Zoe Rafert (“Lady-Like Behavior”).

This year's Honorable Mentions are:

Diane Tepper (“Untitled,” Digital archival photograph); Tom Edmonds (“Floating Squares No. 6,” Oil on canvas); Philippe Cheng (“Untitled, Amagansett, 2012,” C-print mounted photograph); Rosa Hanna Scott (“House on Gardiner's Island,” Photograph); John Hall (“Untitled Interior,” Photograph); Susan Barnett (“Stop Violence Against Women,” Photograph print); Eric Ernst (“Study for Diagrams from the Sky,” Archival print); Jim Molloy (“Paint Shop,” Oil on canvas); Daniel Pollera (“Ditch Plains Sunset, Montauk,” Oil); Christa Maiwald (“Blue Chip (Dan Flavin),” Cotton, embroidery thread); Lindsay Morris (“Matthew in Strapless,” Archival inkjet print); Joe Pintauro (“Venice 2010,” Photograph); Sara Douglas (“I Love You Forever (Words You’ll Never Hear),” Paper); Bonnie Wylo (“Sunset Bridge,” Photograph).

Winning artworks can be viewed at Guild Hall's website (www.guildhall.org). A story revealing the art by Top Winners from the recent past will publish next week.

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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