• Catherine Kirkland

Empress Theodora Painting Awarded 1st Place!

On Thursday, August 27, the 29th Annual Lenexa Artists' Show awards were presented during a Zoom call, in lieu of an in-person reception. While certainly a different experience, the Lenexa Arts Council did a splendid job of highlighting the art and artists through video and still photographs, and technology made a virtual gathering possible. I am pleased and honored to announce that my painting, "Empress Theodora Study" won First Place in the 2D category!


This painting is a study of a 6th century Byzantine mosaic located in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. It is the best known portrait of Empress Theodora, the wife of Emperor Justinian, who ruled from from 527-565 A.D. She is considered to be one of the most powerful woman in Byzantine history.


I love studying these ancient mosaics by interpreting them in paint. It allows me to understand the creative decisions of the ancient artisans who created them and to better understand their color choices and compositions. It also is fascinating to learn about the subjects of these artworks. This palette is much more muted than other paintings of mine, but I love the way the metallic paints and her powerful gaze create a distinct presence.


Congratulations to the winners of this year's awards, and to all whose work made it into this years show. Thank you also, to the Lenexa Arts Council and the City of Lenexa for your support of local art and artists. I love Lenexa!


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