A former Cuyahoga Falls resident took first place in the annual Fresh Art show, on exhibit at Summit Artspace in downtown Akron through April 13.

Artist Jennifer Jones, who graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School, won with her piece, "Don't Question the Queen in Her Castle," done in oil stick, crayon, pastel and charcoal.

"It's my first entry at Summit Artspace," Jones, a full-time student at Kent State University, said. "The Virgin of Guadalupe was an intriguing image for me, and the Mexican culture is very intriguing. I've been working on cityscapes for the past month and a half. I've been researching Mexican culture, and that is what drove this painting."

That, and watching her 6-year-old son August draw pictures. Jones said she also has a 2-year-old son, Finnian.

For this year's challenge, artists had to somehow incorporate the letter Q in some way in their artwork. The juried show opened March 8. The guest judges, Robert Thurmer and Jack McWhorter, had 90 works of art to choose from and selected 43 pieces to be displayed.

Three artists were awarded the top prizes at the opening of Fresh & Q at the Summit Artspace Gallery. Jones won $500 for her work.

The $300 second-place prize went to Casey Vogt for "Dragons Await," a small mixed-media work of collage, house paint & marker.

The third-place award of $200 went to Paula Singleton for her work, "Not So Vanilla Swirl," an artist-designed headpiece.

"I've always been interested in art," Jones, who now lives in Akron, said. "There is something innate about it. It's something I have to do. It makes me happier than anything else, besides by children."

Free workshops

Summit Artspace will have two free Saturday artist workshops during the show.

The first workshop will be March 23 from 1 to 4 p.m., with Tallmadge resident Dino Massaroni, and will focus on portrait drawing from a model using black and white charcoal as the media.

The second workshop will be led by Cari Miller on April 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants will be designing their own initial cards using recycled materials and then publishing the cards for their own personal use.

While the workshops are free, those wishing to attend must register in advance by emailing psargent@neo.rr.com or rhinton@akronarearts.org or by calling the office at 330-376-8480.

Gallery information

Summit Artspace is at 140 E. Market St., one block east of the Akron Art Museum.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438