Best of Show – Online Exhibitions
National Sculpture Society is pleased to announce the Best of Show winners of NSS’ most recent online exhibitions, The Pandemic: A Sculptor’s View and Associates Online Invitational to Janice Mauro and Evan Morse, respectively.
The two online exhibitions showcase works by sculptors from all three membership levels of the organization. Sculptures by Fellows and Elected Members are included in The Pandemic: A Sculptor’s View and for Associates, NSS’ largest membership level, Associates Online Invitational. Jurors for the exhibitions included Robin Salmon (NSS Exhibitions Chair), Michel Langlais (NSS President), and NSS Fellows, Paige Bradley and Rod Zullo.
Associate Evan Morse won Best of Show for his piece, Overthrown. The 29” x 36” bas-relief portrays an exhausted father bested by his two rambunctious toddlers. NSS Fellow, Rod Zullo served as guest juror and selected Morse’s relief from the 38 works in the show. “From chaos comes order, and Overthrown, speaks the language of the family which defines chaos,” begins Zullo. “In a sophisticated composition, that separates itself from a mere effort to a grand accomplishment, Evan took a big bite, and clearly was able to chew it, and hence a beautiful, sophisticated bas-relief.” Morse is a graduate of Boston University (MFA) and Wheaton College, MA (BA). Interested in the narrative capabilities of figurative art, Morse has devoted additional time to learning traditional sculpture techniques, including study at Studio Arts College International in Florence and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara, Italy. His work has been recognized with two grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, in 2018 and 2021. He is also the recipient of a 2017 fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a 2020 Blanche Colman Award. Morse was additionally recognized for his work in relief sculpture with a 2018 Dexter Jones Award from the National Sculpture Society. Morse maintains a home base in Newton, Massachusetts, while occasionally working in Carrara, Italy or at the Carving Studio in West Rutland, Vermont.
NSS Fellow Janice Mauro won the Best of Show honor for her carving, Covid Memorial IV. The 32” tall piece made of poplar wood depicts a person with a gaping hole in their torso, representing the epic toll of a year spent in isolation. Paige Bradley, NSS Fellow and Jury of Awards member, felt the work earned its distinction because it successfully showed that “humanity and nature are inseparable, as we have been so forced to acknowledge during this pandemic. I feel this work has a definite sense of mortality…something that once it’s gone, we can never retrieve.” Mauro has exhibited at the National Academy of Design (New York, NY), Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, CT), and the New Britain Museum of Art (New Britain, CT). Her monument of WWII soldier Sergeant Homer Lee Wise is installed in Veterans Park (Stamford, CT). Mauro was the studio assistant to former NSS President and Fellow, Richard McDermott Miller (1922-2004) and the Coker Master Sculptor at Brookgreen Gardens. In 2019, she created the Brookgreen Medal which is now part of the collection of the British Museum (London), and the Smithsonian Institute (Washington, DC). Her bronze fountain, The Source, is in the permanent collection on the grounds of Brookgreen Gardens.
Best of Show awards are given in NSS online exhibitions and each artist will receive a ¼ page ad — worth up to $545 — in an upcoming issue of Sculpture Review magazine. The NSS website is visited by tens of thousands of people annually and the organization’s exhibitions, events, and members are heavily promoted on NSS social media and in print advertising. Sculpture Review magazine, the publication for National Sculpture Society, was first published in 1951 and is distributed by SAGE Publications and Policy Studies Organization to libraries and universities worldwide. Sculpture Review is dedicated to the advancement, development, and appreciation of realist sculpture.