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2023 Artwork of the Year
"The Sprinter"


Annik Janssens, Artist

Annik's artwork titled The Sprinter" has been selected by jury for the 2023 Artwork of the Year Award.

At the end of each year the Best in Show Award recipients from Camelback Gallery's Themed competitions (excluding Best in Medium)
are entered into the Artwork of the Year competition.  This year the jurors reviewed 22 artworks.

The artwork was chosen based on th
e criteria of concept, composition, value, color, technique, depth of vibrancy and overall impact of the art. Annik's artwork "The Sprinter" also received the highest # of votes by the jurors! Congratulations Annik!

Jurors: Sesse Lind, Marie McCallum,  Kathy Paulus, Casey Cheuvront, Kassandra Kaye


Artist locale: Sint Martens Lierde, Belguim

Title of work: The Sprinter
Medium: Pastel


"Although the cheetah is the fastest land animal on earth, it is also the most endangered cat in Africa, with only 7500 left in the wild." Annik

Artist Statement
All my life, I have had a huge passion for animals and everything related to nature. Ever since I was a little toddler, I wanted nothing more than to draw 'animals'. But shortly after studying to become a graphic designer, I put the pencils aside and took a completely different career path.
Until someone asked me to do a portrait of his dog a few years ago, followed by a second portrait, and since then I have been unstoppable....

I spend as much time as possible outdoors, preferably in the forest where I observe and photograph nature in peace.


I strive to turn my passion for animals into realistic portraits where I try to approximate the character of the animal as much as possible.


Juror Notes

I find this work completely arresting. The impact of that look is inescapable. The artist's execution is, obviously, flawless, and the composition is solid with excellent proportions; but many animal portraits exhibit flawless execution without the directness or emotional connection presented here. The intensity of the animal gaze, at once relatable and "other", reminds us that we are not alone; that there are beings who are our brothers and sisters with lives and thoughts and feelings of their own. Indeed, we can read emotion in that gentle regard, and there is both a separateness through an observed majesty, and a felt kinship, experienced by the viewer. A fine example of the communication triad between artist, subject, and viewer. Very well done.


Captivating eyes. Impressive technique and perfect balance of shadow and light.

The artist's ability to convey that this animal has a persona is what made this a favorite for me.   (If that was the artist's intention) He is regal and confident, gazing at the viewer taking their measure.  The composition is simple but powerful.  The dark background creates a sense of drama and plays off of the cheetah's black spots and other blacks in his fur and making his eyes more compelling than they already are.

This pastel painting is one of the highlights of the year!  All of the artwork, included in this competition, from 2023 is quite amazing, and it was a tough choice to narrow down!  This piece  held a special place in my heart because of the conveyance of emotion! The details, light and shadows are spot on. It is very dramatic. I just want to  run my hands over that fur. Great job!

Eligible 2023 Artists/Best in Show Recipients

Guy-Anne Massicotte,  Annik Janssens,  Andrada Trapnell,  Lisa Reed Peston, Felice Mazzoni,  Daniel Sorersen, Rich DiSilvio, Ricky Montilla, Donna Barati,  Becky Spradling, Felicia Feldman, Pamela Siik, Garry Fleming, Cher Pruys, Julie Denoncourt,  Karen Romani, Michael Ward, Maxwell G Miller, Chen Yang Chan, Dorene Ribotsky,  Joe Maibach, Christy Mandeville


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