ALBANY, Ga. -- Numerous flowers, birds and even a few bell peppers and roosters graced the walls of the Albany Museum of Art Thursday during the 17th annual Shades of Gold Art Show.
Forty-six paintings by 18 artists ages 60 and older were judged during the Thursday luncheon which more than 50 people attended. Food was provided by the artists.
Judges Eric Brooks and Danny Singleton, members of the Camilla Chamber of Commerce, and Deborah Sanders, chair of the Southern Rivers Fine Arts Exposition in Camilla, spent hours examining each of the artist's paintings.
Best in Show was awarded to Anne Blakey for her painting "Southern Spring." While Blakey was not present at the award ceremony, her daughter, Tina, accepted the ribbon on her mother's behalf.
First place and the People's Choice award went to Lorene Gaughf for "Red Beauty."
Gaughf had won Best in Show for the past two years, but said she was not disappointed to win first place and People's Choice.
"I thought she was going win this one, but I am still very proud of her. She is a wonderful artist," said Gaughf's husband, Doug.
Gaughf said the inspiration for her painting that features two bright red poppies came from a desire to have something hang over the head of her bed.
"I like bright colors and I love the color red," Gaughf said.
Second place winner Ruth Stack, who won for her painting entitled "Trappers Cabin," said she was surprised about placing.
"I'm honored to have it (second place) with all the good artists we have, I'm glad they thought mine was good," said the painter.
Stack painted "Trappers Cabin" for her husband.
"I had painted one like it a while ago, but my son took it. My husband wanted me to paint him one," she said.
The third place prize went to Carol Stark for "You Are My Sunshine," a contemporary painting of two large sunflowers.
"My granddaughter loves sunflowers -- that was for her," said the artist of her painting.
Stark said she was shocked by the award because she has only been painting for a year.
"It is really a lot of fun and now I don't think I could give it up," she said.
Merit award winners included Nancy Wade for "Runs Like a Rabbit" and Sarah McCrary for "My Sunflower."
All 46 paintings will be on display at the museum throughout June.
Carole Gum, who teaches the SOWEGA Council on Aging Monday night painting class to all 18 artists, said she is always proud of her student's work.
The Council on Aging's Monday art classes taught by Gum are at the council's senior center at 311 Pine Ave. Gum has taught the class for 17 years.
"It is so much fun and I really enjoy seeing all of their work," she said.
Gum said any senior who wishes to be a part of the Shades of Gold art exhibition is invited to join the class and can contact her at the senior center at (229) 435-6789.