Top Honors Logo

January 2 – 19, 2008

This year’s “Top Honors Exhibition” features first place winners from our founding organizations: Collage Artists of America, Women Painters West, Valley Watercolor Society and Valley Artists Guild.

Curated by Beverly Grossman, Ruth Banarer and Susan Kuss, this exhibit pulls together eleven artists who have won a recent “top honor” for their past work: Linda Carlson, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, Mathilde Lombard, Vivian Matheson, Barbara McIntyre, Donna Rogers, Susan Rosman, Baby Smith, Natalie Smythe, Mara Thompson, and Ed Weiss.

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Linda CarlsonLinda Carlson


Linda Carlson’s art and approach to life is connected to her belief in shamanism. She prefers to work three-dimensionally, utilizing various fiber techniques along with found objects that possess unique energies. Linda has curated fiber exhibitions for various groups and currently serves as Salon Director at VIVA. She also belongs to Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art, Valley Artists Guild and Collage Artists of America.


Nancy Goodman LawrenceNancy Goodman Lawrence


Nancy Goodman Lawrence spent the first 13 years of life in Pittsburgh, PA. Currently employed as a substitute elementary teacher in the LAUSD, she received her art degree at UCLA. Her direction and focus in art has progressed over time from painting to a preference for collage, where she excels and has won numerous awards. Nancy is a member of Collage Artists of America and Women Painters West.


Mathilde LombardMathilde Lombard

Mathilde Lombard, an intuitive watermedia and collage artist, spent many formative years teaching and volunteering her art expertise in her three sons’ schools. Much of her art training was through the Beverly Hills Adult School and various teachers and mentors, including Keith Finch. She holds memberships in several art organizations, including Collage Artists of America, Women Painters West, and National Watercolor Society.


Vivian MathesonVivian Matheson

Vivian Matheson grew up in Santa Monica and studied at Santa Monica City College, majoring in commercial art. Her interest in transparent watercolor has been a lifelong passion which she has balanced with raising a family and being an active partner in her husband’s construction company. Worldwide travel is also a passion of Vivian. She holds memberships in Aquarelle Nine, Valley Watercolor Society and Women Painters West.


Barbara McIntyreBarbara McIntyre


Barbara McIntyre has been collecting “found” objects and scrap for most of her life. She received her formal training in collage at UCSB, but soon began to produce playful assemblages from her vast treasure trove of objects saved over the years. After raising family and dedication to a family business, Barbara began in earnest in 2003 to participate in numerous national, international, and regional exhibits and workshops. She is a member of Collage Artists of America.


Donna RogersDonna Rogers

Donna Rogers’ initial creative drive was music performance, both as a soloist and ensemble singer. As her children were growing up, she spent 20 years in real estate sales before retiring to pursue her newfound interest in art. She polished her skills in painting and pastel through various workshop experiences. A born leader, Donna served as VIVA’s president for over two years, and prior to that was president of Valley Artists Guild for a three-year tenure.


Susan RosmanSusan Rosman


Susan Rosman received her BS and MA degrees at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she was born. Her art training was obtained through various workshop teachers and the Brentwood Art Center. She works exclusively in watercolor, using collage to integrate intricate patterns. Susan also has an active career as an accountant, which helps to pay for art supplies and a lot of travel, her other passion. She is a member of Women Painters West.


Baby SmithBaby Smith


Baby Smith comes to us via Iowa, where she grew up and received a BFA in Art and Design at Iowa State University. She has always been an assemblage artist, but in recent years has embraced two-dimensional collage working with found objects (or “city pulp”, as she calls it). Baby is a full-time artist represented by Crussell Fine Arts in Orange, CA. As a new member of Collage Artists of America, she won her top honor in their 2007 Spring Exhibition.


Natalie SmytheNatalie Smythe

Natalie Smythe, a self-taught native Californian, is known for her sensitive and delicate renderings of the human face. Since 2000, her work has been shown in more than 150 national, international, and regional juried exhibitions where she has received numerous awards. She is a member of 16 distinguished societies, including three local organizations – Valley Artists Guild, Valley Watercolor Society, and Women Painters West.


Mara ThompsonMara Thompson

Mara Thompson grew up in California, accompanying her grandmother on plein air expeditions and wishing to be an artist. Finally in 2002, after years of artistic exploration, she pursued a Fine Arts Certificate at Otis College of Art and Design, where she came under the guidance and mentorship of Franklyn Liegel. Mara is employed as an Alumni Relations Coordinator at Otis and is a member of Women Painters West and Collage Artists of America.


Ed Weiss Ed Weiss

Ed Weiss is a retired physician (Endocrinologist), who has developed a successful career in watercolor during the past 10 years. He received art training at the California Art Institute in Westlake, where he studied with Glen Orbik, Phyllis Solcyk, and Bobbie Moline Kramer. Besides having numerous collectors of his work, Ed has competed in some very prestigious art competitions where he has received many top awards. He is a member of Valley Watercolor Society.