Jessica Turtle submitted only one entry for the recent ArtReach St. Croix.
That one is all she needed to earn Best in Show, selected by ArtReach’s Board of Directors earlier this month.
The winning entry was titled Bombas Perplexus, an acrylic painting of a bumblebee.
“I’ve always had an interest in bumblebees,” the Farmington native explained. She painted more than 10 types of bumblebees native to the area.
Turtle and her partner David have called Farmington home the last four years after living in St. Paul.
“We were always driving out to William O’Brien State Park,” she explained. “And we decided why not relocate to this area and see if life would be better for us.”
So far, it has been, she said.
Turtle, who makes her living as an artist, says this area has been a source of motivation.
“Painters are hiding out in the woods,” she said. “I think they are inspired by the natural world, so it makes sense to be in it.”
Not a lot of good has come since COVID-19 came into the world, but Turtle can point to one thing.
“Art sales have boomed since COVID-19 started,” she explained. “People have supported it.”
Other artists featured in this year’s exhibition are: Holland Atkinson, Leslie A. Batt-Lutz, Leslie Carpenter-Holt, Barb Casey, Barbara Claussen, Lou Cunico, Andrea Leila Denecke, Jane Dierberger, Gail Jessop Diez, Cara Frafjord, Candace Ganje, Stephen James Gates, Gil Gragert, Diana Hatchitt, Han Huisman, Phyllis Hunter, Jeffry Jeanetta-Wark, Christie Kowalski, Sarah Lilja, Rita K. MacDonald, Michaela Mahady, Bev Marx, David Morris, John C. Niemi, Chiaki O’Brien, Carol Patt, Kristin Prideaux, Jeanette Richards, Sue Rowe, Megan A. Schmidt, Emily Schollett, Lorie Spiegel, Jerilyn Strand, Susan Strand-Penman, Marjorie Wade, Sharon Weiser and Todd Williams.
The Annual Members Show will be on view through Aug. 15 at ArtReach St. Croix’s galleries, 224 N. 4th Street, Stillwater. The galleries are free and open to the public with modified hours Wednesdays-Sundays 12-4 p.m. The number of gallery visitors allowed inside at one time is limited to 10 people and everyone is required to wear a mask in order to maintain a safe environment to view local art.
To see more of Turtle’s art, visit jessicaturtle.art.