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Energen Announces Winners of 2014 Art Competition

For Release: March 11, 2014
Information contact: Sherri Goodman (205) 326-1892

Karen Graffeo, a University of Montevallo associate professor of art who lives in Birmingham, is the grand prize winner in Energen’s 15th annual art competition. 

Graffeo will receive $7,500 for her work, “She Flew West,” which beat 192 entries in the juried competition to win grand prize. Energen Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James McManus will present awards to Graffeo and other winning artists on March 23. Winners become a part of Energen’s permanent collection, “The Wonders of Alabama Art.” 

Other winners are: 

  • Thomas Rosenstiel of Tuscaloosa, who won the $3,000 landscape category prize for his work, “December’s White Oak.”
  • Zara Edwards Lowry of Huntsville, who won the $3,000 non-representational category prize for her work, “In Shadows We Fall.”
  • Neil Pope of Union Grove, who won the $3,000 wildlife category for her work, “Cinnamon Teal.”
  • Dirk Walker of Birmingham, who won the $3,000 employee choice category for his work, “Regions Field.” 

Four artists also received honorable mention awards with a $250 cash prize. Krel Buckalew of Hanceville was recognized for “January Jewels.”  Bethany Windham Engle of Buhl was recognized for “Rhododendron Blossoms.”  Don Estes of Hoover was recognized for “Our Place.” And Sue Key of Birmingham was recognized for “Ducks in a Row.” 

This year’s judge is William Dooley, associate professor of art at the University of Alabama and director of UA’s Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, where he directs and curates a schedule of changing exhibitions. 

Dooley, who teaches drawing as well as seminars devoted to graduate studio research, also has contributed his expertise in exhibits management for the Rural Studio, an architectural design/build program affiliated with Auburn University that is active in the Blackbelt region of Alabama. His own works of art have been included in 75 regional and national exhibitions, including more than 40 juried competitions.

A total of 251 artists from throughout the state entered this year, and 52 of those artists were new to our competition.  A total of 193 works were accepted for the competition. 

The free art show at Energen Plaza opened to the public Monday and will run through through March 21, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

Proceeds from the 2014 Energen Art Competition, plus a contribution from Energen, will go to Red Mountain Theatre Company. Over the past 15 years, the competition has helped raise more than $160,000 for area charities. 

Birmingham-based Energen Corporation is a growing oil and gas exploration and production company complemented by its legacy natural gas utility, Alagasco.