Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival recently announced that Riley Webster, a sophomore at Sherburne-Earlville Central School, is one of two recipients of the 2016 Francis K. Wilcox Scholarship for Emerging Young Artist Awards. Emily Redfield, a senior at Oxford Academy High School has been named the other recipient.
Riley, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Webster, has already earned an array of art awards, including best in show at the 2016 Sherburne Arts Festival, a first in painting, and a first in sculpture. He also won first place in drawing and third in painting at Colorscape’s 2015 Student Art Exhibit.
“My process in how I make my art is still partially unknown to me, because I am still trying to figure it out myself,” Riley wrote. “My process for whatever I am doing is tailored to each piece but, I have noticed that the pieces I make tend to develop a personality and you have to work with that and the space I work in affects my art as well. Color, it is truly my favorite aspect of art; it sets the tone of the piece and defines it. Color I believe is the soul of a work. Color in my opinion is what gives soul to art, breathing life into it, and it reflects my emotions and soul in a way words cannot.”
He credits his grandfather, artist Bruce Webster, as his main artistic influence. The elder Webster has also exhibited and judged at Colorscape and, said Riley, isn’t afraid to criticize his work in a constructive way.
“My grandfather has throughout my entire life been the one who has ceaselessly been pushing and encouraging me to explore and supporting me every step of the way,” said Riley, who hopes to go into art conservation and restoration, “breathing new life into great works of art.”
Both Riley and Emily will show their artwork Sept. 10 and 11 at Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival in downtown Norwich. Each artist will also receive a $350 award plus a $100 Golden Artist Colors gift certificate.
Every weekend after Labor Day, the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival fills two adjacent downtown parks in Norwich, with an exhibition- and activity-rich celebration of the arts. Admission is always free, rain or shine. For more information, visit www.colorscape.org.