By Angela Romeo

The annual Palm Springs Art Museum Artist Council Exhibition (ACE) is currently on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum to December 13. The Artist Council is 350 members strong, many of whom are working artists. The yearly ACE is a juried show and is the highlight of the Artist Council activities. With over 300 entries, 43 pieces are selected for the exhibition. 

While all work in the exhibition is unique and available for sale, several pieces stood out for recognition. This year’s award recipients included: Terry Hastings, the Preston Ormsby Award, sponsored by The Ormsby Family, for his photograph; Overview; Veralee Bassler recipient of the Karen and Tony Barone Award for Sculpture, sponsored by Karen and Tony Barone, for her work Danzante #2; Nash Lawrason, Community Award, sponsored by Michael and James Mancini-Heath of Jack Farley’s Art Supplies and Debra Mumm of CREATE Center for the Art, for his work Dispenser of Dreams; Beth Adams, the Peggy Vermeer Award, sponsored by Artists Council Board of Directors, for her work Waterfall/Window; and Laurel Goddard Thomas, Palm Springs Art Museum Board of Trustees Acquisition Award, sponsored by Donna MacMillan, for her work, Martini Glass Abstract #3.

The Preston Ormsby Award is in honor of Preston Ormsby, who passed away in 2011. Mr. Ormsby was a board member of the Palm Springs Art Museum Artists’ Council. He won an award in 2008 for Best of Show at the museum. This award is given in lieu of a Best in Show nomenclature.


Ormsby recipient, Terry Hastings’s Overview harkens a new direction for Terry.  The work is a helicopter view of a pool scene. The intricate assemblage of photographs creates a single image of cohesiveness “From at least twelve points of view, I created a collage that is focused and balanced from nearly every angle. In fact the work can be hung on all four sides, each giving a new perspective. Because the overall image has been shot in many smaller pieces, the eye can easily coalesce the entire image into focus,” stated Terry.

“The Community Award,” said Debra Mumm, “was privately sponsored this year on behalf of CREATE Center, now that Venus Studios Art Supply, has dissolved into a charitable arts organization. Jurors, not sponsors, selected the award. In years past the Venus Studios Art Supply Award was given to work that made use of weaving or photograph – pieces that didn’t use any traditional art materials that you can buy in a store; interesting choice for an art supply business.”

But as Debra recognizes community and art belong together. Debra continued, “Personally as an arts activist, creating opportunity in the community for exhibition is something I have always supported. As an award winner in the permanent collection of the museum, I recognize the importance of celebrating our local talent.”

Community Award recipient Nash Lawrason, in describing his photographic work Dispenser of Dreams, stated “When I think about art and photography, I often wonder how and why we achieve the images that we do. I always have a deep longing for something creative and much joy when it happens. We never really get lucky, but rather have times when our subconscious runs free and allows our heart’s wish. Sometimes it gives us more than we ever hoped.”

Art often gives us far more that we could have imagined. The ACE is a celebration of art, community, and the creative spirit of the desert.

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