The first three winners of the James Weir People’s Choice Awards were announced Friday night.
More than 1,270 people from 22 countries voted for their favorite works at the James Weir People’s Choice Art Exhibition. Curator and arts coordinator Regan Lanning said 185 ballots were spoiled and not counted. The ballots were spoiled by people who did not put their name on them, who did not vote for three parts or who voted several times. She added that one person voted 23 times and none of their ballots were counted.
Kelly Stephanson won first place this year for her painting, “The Turn.”
“It’s Moraine Curve, it’s near Moraine Lake,” Stephanson said. “You have to cross mountain roads.”
It was Stephanson’s second time winning the top spot, the first time in 2020 for his piece, “Jade Green in the Rockies.” She moved to Weyburn four years ago from China.
Second place went to Christopher Borshowa for his photograph entitled “Fallen”.
“So it’s actually printed on metal, which is really cool on brushed aluminum to give it some texture. Usually my work is much darker, but this time I wanted to do something something a little more edifying.
He added that it was the third time he had won in five years.
Third place was awarded to Olha Matiusheva, for her beaded sculpture, “Birch”.
“Birch is the kind of tree that grows in Ukraine and here in Canada, so I wanted to do something with a connection.”
Matiusheva moved to Canada from Ukraine four years ago. She added that it was her second year taking third place.
In addition to the regular first, second and third place awards, an honorable mention was awarded this year to Sara Irwin for her play “Flowers Galore”. She was close to winning third place with a difference of about 20 votes.
Regan Lanning said Speedy Glass creates bespoke original trophies for winners every year.
The first place winner will also have their name added to the James Weir People’s Choice Trophy.