Louisville portrait artist and teacher John Michael Carter, right, chose Louisville artist Sharon Matisoff’s  “Claudia at Her Easel” for an Excellence in Media Award for oil at the Madison Art Club’s 12th annual art competition and exhibition. (Staff photo by Peggy Vlerebome)
Louisville portrait artist and teacher John Michael Carter, right, chose Louisville artist Sharon Matisoff’s “Claudia at Her Easel” for an Excellence in Media Award for oil at the Madison Art Club’s 12th annual art competition and exhibition. (Staff photo by Peggy Vlerebome)
Seventy-four artists from Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio entered 138 paintings in the Madison Art Club's 12th annual competition and show.

Louisville portrait artist John Michael Carter, who judged the competition, wrote in the awards program: "As a whole, this year's entries were the strongest of the shows I have seen or judged here in the past."

The 138 paintings were exhibited at the art club gallery at Jefferson and Main streets during a reception and awards ceremony Saturday evening attended by about 100 people.

The top prize, Best of Show, went to Louisville artist Sharon Matisoff for "Corwin Playing the Flute," a pastel.

Matisoff also won a Best of Media award for oil for "Claudia at her Easel," an oil painting of fellow Louisville artist Claudia Hammer at work. The picture will be part of a show of a series of paintings of Louisville artists that Matisoff will have at the Kaviar Forge & Gallery in Louisville in 2012, sponsored by the Louisville Women's Club.

Fourteen Madison, Hanover, Lexington and Milton, Ky., artists entered the competition and won six awards. They were:

• Joy Cable of Milton, Ky., won Best of Contemporary in the Best of Genre class for a mixed media named "Untitled #2."

• In the Best of Media class, Lawrence Rudolech of Hanover won with an oil painting, "Boats and Fog"; Geoffrey Crowe of Madison won with an acrylic painting, "Caught in the March"; and William Borden of Hanover won with a watercolor, "Dakota Falls."

Borden also won a Distinction in Media award for a watercolor "Achill Island Coast."

Teresa Waller of Madison won an Honorable Mention by the Judge for an oil painting, "Reflection."

Winners were awarded ribbons and cash prizes donated by local businesses and individuals. The Best of Show award prize was $500; the Best of Genre prize was $250; the Best of Media awards were $200; Excellence in Media was $100; and Distinction in Media awards were $50.

Carter, an award-winning artist, taught a two-day class in portrait drawing in Madison on the two days before the competition, sponsored by the Art Club. Fourteen artists took the class, which was held in the community room of the senior apartments on Broadway.