MEMPHIS, TN (March 3, 2016) – Beth Edwards, a Memphis visual artist, best known for her paintings of children’s toys, is the recipient of the sixth annual Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration. This award is given by Metropolitan Bank to a local artist whose work demonstrates artistic mastery.
As the Emmett O’Ryan Award winner, Edwards receives a $10,000 cash award. Edwards was selected based on her decades of making outstanding work, along with her service to the Memphis community as a professor at the University of Memphis. She is widely recognized for mentoring young artists in the business aspects of art.
Many of Edwards’ most compelling paintings depict seemingly banal objects such as flowers and dolls. She transforms these objects through the use of monumental scale, saturated colors, and disorienting compositions. In the process, Edwards reveals hidden drama within scenes that would be, in her own words, “unexceptional in real life.”
The Emmett O’Ryan Award is given annually by Metropolitan Bank in honor of the late Emmett O’Ryan, an avid art collector who was a founding board member of Metropolitan Bank. The winning artist is selected by a committee composed of Metropolitan Bank associates, a member of the ArtsMemphis board of directors, and representatives of Mr. O’Ryan’s family.
“Emmett O’Ryan was a much-beloved and respected member of the Metropolitan Bank family,” said Phillip May, Market CEO, Memphis. “This award is a wonderful way to honor Mr. O’Ryan’s memory and his contributions to the bank and to the arts while supporting the work of an outstanding artist in our community.”
Other finalists for the 2016 Emmett O’Ryan Award include: