Tory Cowles has been selected as the Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center Artist of the Year for 2011.
The award was announced on Jan. 10 in the Target Gallery of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Also recognized for their artistic excellence was Torpedo Factory artists Joyce Zipperer (Second Place) and Brenda Townsend (Third Place).
The juror for the competition was Harry Cooper, Curator and Head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art.
An abstract painter, Cowles’ background was in three-dimensional work such as stone wall building, woodworking, interior design, architecture, and carpentry, and her paintings were representational landscapes and portraits.
When she started painting abstracts, she was able to incorporate the challenges and appeal of her previous 3D work onto the 2D canvas. Her large abstract canvases weave lush layers of color and spontaneous movement into mysterious stories.
Her 2010 shows include: Longview Gallery, Washington, D.C.; plan b Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Blueberry Gallery, Alexandria; Touchstone Gallery, Alexandria; and the Art Barn Gallery, Gaithersburg.
Ms. Cowles will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a solo exhibition of her work in the Target Gallery from July 2-Aug. 14, 2011, with a reception at the Gallery on July 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.