‘Marie Antoinette’ wins 3-D Best of Show at Great Darke County Fair Art Show


GREENVILLE — The Great Darke County Fair Art Show had a special French visitor this year.

“Marie Antoinette,” courtesy of Springboro, Ohio, artist Denis Bruss, fascinated both observers and the judges, as he won Best of Show in the 3-D category. Both France, and Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the French Revolution, have always interested Bruss, he said.

“I don’t do any artwork that I am not inspired or intrigued by,” he said. “It has to have some sort of meaning for me. I could sit around painting still-lives all day, but that is not interesting to me.”

Bruss said he has been an interior designer for more than 40 years, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wright State University. He has been making things out of “whatever” since he was five-years-old. He said he spent hours and hours constructing Antoinette, who was also in a show last summer, in Lebanon, at the Warren County Historical Society Museum.

“When I decided to take her to the fair, I had to fine-tune her,” he said. “She was a new girl by the time she arrived. Every bit of her is scrubbed, painted and sewed. It was very labor intensive and I have no clue how many hours I spent. Marie Antoinette is synonymous with roses. I painted a tin rose that I found years ago.”

Some of Antoinette’s other details include: pearls made from Christmas roping; legs made from two old baseball bats; steel wool hair; a hand-carved head made from a wooden hat mold and dress ruffles from aluminum screening, which Bruss transformed into linen through the use of 35 large tubes of acrylic paint; and a dress from a plastic tablecloth.

Bruss said this is his fourth time entering the fair. He grew up attending the Great Darke County Fair, as he was born in Union City, Indiana.

“I always enjoy going back there, sharing my artwork and getting peoples’ opinions on my art,” he said. “The fair is a wonderful place to exhibit. I am very happy to be a part of it and it is very rewarding to me, as there are some very talented wonderful artists exhibiting there.”

Greenville Art Guild member Isabel Culbertson has held several offices in the guild, including president. She said Bruss’s installations are just unbelievable.

“He had to rent a van to bring “Marie”, which probably cost him his award money,” she said. “So many artists enter the Fair Art Show, because they get so much exposure as so many people come through. You never know; there might be someone who has some pull some place. One day Denis will be famous in his lifetime.”

Fair Art Show Coordinator and Greenville Art Guild member Carolyn Armstrong was also a winner. Her colored pencil drawing won a First Place ribbon.

“I think this makes the show a little more exciting,” she said of “Marie Antoinette”. “Bruss’s pieces are always a point of interest. People come and take photos of it and of each other, next to “Marie”. A mime came one year and stood by his work. It is usually a topic of conversation, as nobody usually enters art like his.”

As far as the Art Show, Armstrong said it is growing and new artists entered this year. They come from all over the country. While the art is juried somewhat, most of it is accepted if it is not inappropriate. Armstrong said sometimes people want to know how the judges decide which entries are winners. Greenville Art Guild Fair Liaison Nancy Foureman chooses the judges, Armstrong said. There were two this year.

“She tries to get people to judge who are knowledgeable about art and are from out of state, so they don’t know the artists.”

To find out more about his art, e-mail Denis Bruss: dbrussart@gmail.com.

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The Great Darke County Fair Art Show had a special French visitor this year. “Marie Antoinette”, courtesy of Springboro artist Denis Bruss, fascinated both observers and the judges, as he won “Best of Show” in the 3-D category. Some of Antoinette’s details include: pearls made from Christmas roping; legs made from two old baseball bats; steel wool hair; a hand-carved head made from a wooden hat mold and dress ruffles from aluminum screening, which Bruss transformed into linen through the use of 35 large tubes of acrylic paint; and a dress from a plastic tablecloth.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_marie1.jpgThe Great Darke County Fair Art Show had a special French visitor this year. “Marie Antoinette”, courtesy of Springboro artist Denis Bruss, fascinated both observers and the judges, as he won “Best of Show” in the 3-D category. Some of Antoinette’s details include: pearls made from Christmas roping; legs made from two old baseball bats; steel wool hair; a hand-carved head made from a wooden hat mold and dress ruffles from aluminum screening, which Bruss transformed into linen through the use of 35 large tubes of acrylic paint; and a dress from a plastic tablecloth. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

By Carolyn Harmon

charmon@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

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