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People’s Choice Winner Announced at Gig Harbor National Art Exhibit

(GIG HARBOR, WA) Gig Harbor artist Charles Salak was awarded the People’s Choice ribbon in Peninsula Art League’s annual Open Juried Exhibition for his watercolor painting of a South American woman displaying her wares at a marketplace.


“It was fun to count the ballots for People’s Choice because people voted for lots of different works of art,” said exhibit co-chair Jeni Woock.


The painting was also given the Commissioners’ Choice award by the Gig Harbor Arts Commission.  Salak calls his painiting ‘The Market Place.’


“A friend who had gone to South America showed me some photos and videos from his trip and I was inspired by them.” Salak said. “Several of the photos had people oin them, so I took something from each of them and did my own composition and created this painting.”


The South American aspect appealed to Salak as a way to respond to the exhibition’s theme – “Outside your Comfort Zone.”  “I try to do something new with every painting I make, whether it’s new skin tones or features, or a new way of handling fruit or glass. Watercolor can be tricky and you can get three-quarters of the way done with a painting and then make a mistake and have to start all over.”


This year, for the first time, the exhibition included both 2D and 3D work. “We were very happy to be able to have both 2D and 3D in this year’s show,” Woock said. “We were also very pleased to have Rock Hushka from the Tacoma Art Museum as our juror, and the artists who attended the painting workshop that PAL hosted as part of the show were said they accomplished a lot with the workshop instructor David Lobenberg. I imagine that there’s been a lot of growth from the first PAL Open Show 10 years ago.”


Although the exhibition closed on Sept. 13, all the winning paintings can be viewed on the PAL website at


Caption for attached photo: “The Market Place”, a watercolor painting by Gig Harbor artist Charles Salak, won the People’s Choice award at Peninsula Art League’s 10th Annual Open Juried Show. The painting also received the Gig Harbor Arts Commission’s Commissioners’ Choice award.