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2nd Annual "Save the Ocean"
Art & Poetry Exhibit

The judges votes are in and ready for viewing!


Art Award


Show Runs from
October 7 - November 4, 2022
at Escondido Municipal Gallery

Best in Show Overall

Alexander Shakuto “Surfing Sun”.  

First Place - LaRetta Small - “Friends or Foes”.

Best in Theme for Sculpture - Janet Hansen - “Enlighted Rings 5”

Best in Theme for Fine Art - Shawn Bruner - “Shell Fire”

Second Place - Sue De Wulf -  “Couch Surfer”. 

The Third Place - Cherrie LaPorte -  “Moody Sea Blues”.

Honorable Mention artists are:

Darina Baebler for “Blissful Path”  - photography

Dan Pressman for  “Whale Tail on a Wave” digital photography

Ann Chaitin for “Sea Forms” Embossed copper 

Shawn Bruner for  “Hatch Kelp” photography

Dirk Harman for “Cove Morning” oil painting

Darlene Katz “Hang 10” oil painting


Scroll to View Selected Artists

This year there were 169 compelling ocean themed submissions, and of those, 71 were chosen for inclusion in the show that will be on exhibit at the Escondido Municipal Gallery from October 7 - November 4. The mediums juried into the show varied from traditional painting, to digital photography, marquetry wood working, ceramic sculpture, fabric artworks, mixed media, photography and mosaic. The show was judged by Surfing Madonna board members; Mike Redman - President, Cheryl Ehlers - Program Administrator  and Cathy Carey - Executive Director. “We were so amazed at the quality of the work and large number of entrants, that we added two extra awards for “Best in Show - Theme for Fine Art and Sculpture in addition to overall Best in Show. This way we could put a special focus on who did something unique and wonderful with the theme, and which piece stood out overall that we wanted to represent our organization this year.”


Award Winning Poems

The poetry award winners for the show were chosen by judges: Danny Salzhandler board member of Surfing Madonna and Art Director, Robert O’Sullivan Schleith of Poets INC (Inland North County), and local poet Marit Anderson.
We had 24 excellent poems submitted and these were the three selected by our judges for awards.

2nd Annual "Save the Ocean" Exhibit


First Place - 

The Surfing Madonna

By Steve McDonald

She is fearless, this Lady of Guadalupe, the wave
at her back rising to break over her head 
as if she will shoot the curl, the railway bridge
a perfect frame for the ten-foot-by-ten-foot glass mosaic
that appeared one day as if out of nowhere, 
a barrel of blue water about to encase this gentle Virgin, 
her eyes wide open, lips a slight, closed smile, hands 
together as if in prayer, her reddish-orange gown 
modestly draped from collar to ankle, her cloak 
green hooded, gold fringed, blown forward and around 
and back and forward again as if it were a cresting wave 
and alive, and what fourteen-year-old boy or girl 
who had ever surfed or dreamed of surfing Swamis 
or Windansea or Rincon or Malibu would fail to smile, 
to feel comforted by this cool mom riding this white surfboard 
goofy-footedright foot forward, left backits red stringer 
and rails, black booties on her feet, and at her back 
haloed streams of golden foil, and what old dude 
with his longboard would fail to notice the slender arc 
of the moon at the Virgins feet, the angel holding it 
in his arms and the red roses spread like a banner 
across the surfboard and then somehow spilling 
into the blue of the searoses are spilling into the sea, 
riding the swell up and over this Savior of the Ocean,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, this Surfing Madonna.


Second Place - 

What One Person Can Do

By Jim Babwe

Plant comfortable shoes or perfect boots
on solid ground or steady rock.
Stand high on some secure boulder.
Eventually, wind and water 
reduce reliable surfaces to sand.
Jump forward in time.
Stand ankle deep in the Pacific
or Atlantic or any ocean you choose.
Patient, persistent water 
rushes around your feet,
stealing balance, compelling you 
to step left and right 
and forward and backward -- 
whichever way 
tides and currents move.
To retain balance,
we have no choice 
but to yield
to more powerful, 
infinitely patient force,
a force more powerful and patient
than us.
Convince yourself
you control the ocean,
but it’s the ocean
which controls you.
Whoever said,
“If you want to make God laugh,
tell him your plans,”
knew it’s better to have faith
in something larger than yourself,
larger than the ocean,
so lifting a single piece of paper
to remove it from the water
becomes a demonstration
of respect for a larger power
which will endure longer 
than every single one 
of us.


Third Place - 

The Big Blue Top

By Katie Kemple

A hawk hangs out on the streetlamp at sunset. 
He’s an eagle of the ocean, a tanned lifeguard 
on his golden throne of glory. Ready to swoop 
down on his pick. The chicks at the taco shop 
ruffle their feathers out. Do you remember 
feathered bangs, back in the 80s? Aerosol clouds 
froze our hair into waves and we learned 
the phrase: ozone layer. Everyone gave up 
hairspray, as if that one righteous trick 
could close the gap alone. No. A circus tent 
pole rose. All of us in a balancing act, 
never bothering to look back. I sit here 
decades later beneath the big blue umbrella, 
ever more a performer to an illogical ring master. 
My hair has silver glints. On my ears, hoops 
for tricks. I make plastic cups and forks dance. 
We pretend not to know how this act ends.  
The shore creeping up on us more each year. 
That whip, the sting of eternity. Our collective 
efforts to tame the earth, come up lame 
of course. The ocean gains on us, her costume 
glistens. Her mane, salt licked. Her roar 
deafening. She doesn’t need a straw to finish us off.

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Surfing Madonna
Second Annual 
Art and Poetry Awards

Be Part of a Provocative Exhibit Produced by Surfing Madonna

At the Distinguished Escondido Municipal Gallery.

Be Recognized.

Art Show Reception and Poetry Readings October 8, 2022 from 4 - 7PM

Surfing Madonna Oceans Project wants to spread our message of hope and appreciation for the ocean and support the arts. We believe that creating art and public appreciation of art increases cognitive abilities and eases anxiety and depression in these difficult times. Art can make a difference in the community, and that collective action can greatly impact the world.


Art and Poetry Awards

Art Awards:

Cash awards: Best in show - $300, First place $300, Second place $200, 

Third Place $100, 4 Honorable Mentions of $25.

All the accepted participants will be displayed on our social media sites. Winners will be included in press releases.

Poetry Awards:

First place $300, Second place $200, 

Third Place $100

Poets will be invited to read their award winning poems at the reception on Saturday October 8, 2022 6PM.

(This is not mandatory)

Poems will be printed and displayed for the public to enjoy for the duration of the show and posted on our social media sites.

Award winners receive a Surfing Madonna Swag bag including a Medal of Artistic Excellence

Exhibition Dates

October 7 - November 4, 2022


October 8, 2022 from 4 - 7 PM.
Reception for both the
Art Exhibit and the Poetry Awards
Art Awards at 6PM
Poetry Readings and Awards at 5:30 PM

Pick Up Artwork

Saturday November 5 between 11 and 4PM
There is no space for artwork storage. Artwork must be picked or provisions for shipping back to artist must be made by providing a self addressed and prepaid box with appropriate packing for it's safe return.

Hours and Location

Gallery hours: Tues. 11:00 - 6:00 PM
Thurs - Sat 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Escondido Municipal Gallery
262 E. Grand Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025


Parking available in the lot behind the Gallery or on Grand *Bring your work through the front entrance.

Notice of Acceptance/Non-Acceptance

Accepted artists and poets will be notified by the email you provided on September 19, 2022. Accepted artists will be displayed on our Web Gallery for six months.

Surfing Madonna and Escondido Municipal Gallery Contact Info

Surfing Madonna Contact info:

Cathy Carey - 760-877-0869

For more information about Surfing Madonna Oceans Project

Escondido Municipal Gallery info:


262 E. Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025

Calendar of Important Dates

Submit Artworks 

May 15 - September 11, 2022 11:59 PM

Artists Notified

September 19, 2022

Deliver Accepted Artworks to Gallery

Tuesday October 4th between 11 and 4 pm

Artworks on Exhibit

October 7 - November 4, 2022


October 8, 2022 from 4 - 7 PM.

Reception for both the Art Exhibit and the Poetry Awards

Art Awards at 6PM

Poetry Readings and Awards at 5:30 PM

Pick Up Artworks

Saturday, November 5 between 11 and 4pm