Suzanne Falk at Oil Panters of America National Juried Exhibition

Out of 2,500 national entries, local painter Suzanne Falk was chosen by the Oil Painters of America (OPA) as one of the top 200 artists for their 19th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils.

Falk is largely self-taught and paints whimsical still life works in a photo-realist style. You may have caught her solo show a couple years ago at g2 Gallery in Scottsdale (back when it was along Marshall Way) or her show at Perihelion Arts last year.

OPA's opening reception and award ceremony (the Gold Medal Award is valued at $22,000) happens tonight at The Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale.

We caught up with Falk for a little Q&A (after the jump).

How did you hear about the Legacy Gallery OPA exhibition?

My mother Joni Falk (who is also a painter and shows at Legacy) is the one who encouraged me to enter.

How many pieces did you enter?

Just one: Matches do More than Light Cigarettes. It was selected from over 2,500 entries to be in the show -- this totally blows my mind.

What's the story behind that particular work?

The painting has a lot to do with the passage of time -- magical items I found in my grandmother's house; the resonance and common ground we both shared but finding out too late to ever talk about it. It's like a message in a time capsule I'm still trying to understand.

Why did you choose to enter that particular one?

It asked me to.

What do you love about working with oil?

From an early age it has been about the way it smells. I love walking into an artists studio that works in oils. It smells like home and that is what painting is to me -- totally my home.

Suzzane Falk's Matches do More than Light Cigarettes will be on display tonight, Friday, April 30, as a part of the "19th Annual OPA National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils" Opening Reception and Award Ceremony from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Legacy Gallery, 7178 Main Street in Scottsdale, 480-945-1113, www.legacygallery.com. The exhibition continues through May 31. 

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