Walla Wallans Joyce Anderson and Deborah Bruce recently won awards for their artwork in the Allied Arts Association juried show in Richland.

Anderson’s watercolor, “Gift of the Storm Surge,” won the $100 2020 Mid-Columbia Watercolor Society Award. Bruce’s watercolor, “Waterford Peppers,” won the $200 2020 Eastern Washington Watercolor Society Award.

Out of 211 entries, the paintings by Anderson and Bruce were among 45 works selected for the show and two of the eight pieces that garnered monetary awards, Bruce said.

Chris Otten, who brings artistic knowledge and experience to judging, remarked on the diversity in everyone’s works at ubne.ws/32C3m45. “There were many pieces that made the judging thought-provoking ... refreshing and exhausting. As a juror, I ask questions — “Will this piece go in the show? Will this one not go in? Did the artist take any risks to do something different? Does this work merit an award? Which work deserves to be called ‘the best?’”

“ ... Understanding of composition and design, an appreciation of a wide range of styles and media and an eye for work transcends the medium,” he said. He looks carefully several times at each entry, which gives more value to the experience.

He congratulated artists whose work was admitted to the show, adding, “I would also like to encourage the artists who did not make it into this show to continue to believe in their work and submitting to exhibitions.”

Otten looked for expertise in the use of various media and visual impact, Bruce said.

The painting Anderson entered is a jumble of shells deposited by a storm surge on colorful sands. Shapes and colorful shadows play an important part in portraying realistic subject matter in all of the work Anderson does.

She has taught watercolors since 1982 for the community education program at Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla City Parks & Rec, Walla Walla Senior Citizens Center, Allied Arts Gallery summer children’s program, Pendleton Art Center adult classes and Walla Walla School District 140 as well as voluntarily teaching drawing and watercolors at area private and public elementary schools.

A native Walla Wallan, Bruce derived inspiration from a Waterford crystal bowl purchased on a trip to Ireland a few years ago. She said she was “intrigued with the refracted colors that appear in the glass and the way the light and shadow play as they bounce off the glass.”

Bruce grew up in Tri-Cities and near Seattle. She moved to Walla Walla in 1990 to marry husband Jeff. She said she derives inspiration from the Pacific Northwest seasons with their ever-changing colors and beauty in its ocean beaches, mountains, rivers and waterfalls. She was a florist for 30 years and flowers are one of her favorite subjects to paint. She has done several commissions for portraits of dogs and loves capturing their personalities, being a dog lover herself.

She’s painted since high school and has worked in oil and acrylics, but when she took her first watercolor class about 20 years ago, she was hooked and has worked in watercolor since. She studied art at Eastern Washington University, Columbia Basin College and Walla Walla Community College and attended workshops with a number of established artists.

Because of the coronavirus quarantine a virtual viewing experience was established at ubne.ws/32C3m45. In-person viewing is only allowed as current guidelines permit. Contact the Gallery at the Park, 89 Lee Blvd., Richland, at 509-943-9815 for details. At the end of the online show, viewers can vote through Aug. 28 for the People’s Choice Award.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at 509-526-8313 or annieeveland@wwub.com.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at 509-526-8313 or


Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,