Lycoming County Art Exhibition open for voting
“Art Alive!” is a juried exhibition of fine art by Lycoming County artists, showcasing the unique vision and emerging aesthetic ideas within the region. The exhibition will allow the community to experience and interact with new and exciting contemporary artwork created by regional artists. The exhibition was open to all residents of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 18 years of age or older. All artists were required to submit six works of art that were original and completed since 2008.
Gallery director Lenore Penfield chose an exhibition of local artists for the Pennsylvania College of Technology Gallery’s first juried show because of “the importance they (the local art community) are exhibiting here,” she said. “It’s exciting for us.”
“The art scene has really grown over the course of the past few years and we really wanted to showcase some of that talent,” she added.
That growth inspired the name of the show. “‘Art Alive!’ It’s just how we’ve felt about the local art scene over the past several years,” Penfield said, “It’s really blossoming.”
The “Art Alive!” show marks the first exhibition for the Pennsylvania College of Technology Gallery to have a selection of the work voted in by the general public.
“We felt it was a great way to get the public involved; instead of just coming in to see the exhibit, they can actually help to choose what pieces of art they would like to see,” Penfield said.
The idea came to Penfield in an email; she subscribes to an e-newsletter put out by Maine Art in Kennebunkport, Maine, and saw that gallery was doing something similar for one of their shows.
Artists were not limited to a narrow range of media, and could submit 2- and 3-dimensional work. Digital work and video were just as acceptable as more traditional media like painting or photography.
“We got a diverse range of work,” Penfield said of the submissions, “We were really excited; it won’t be a show of just one medium.”
Once the submissions were in, three independent jurors – Gary Mesa-Gaido, Florence Putterman, and Joyce Robinson – selected 24 artists based on various categories like artistic integrity, communication, composition and control of medium.
“We chose qualified jurors from outside of the area so that there wouldn’t be any favoritism,” Penfield said.
Mesa-Gaido and Putterman show their work both nationally and internationally. Mesa-Gaido is a tenured professor of art at Morehead State University and Putterman maintains two studios: one in Selinsgrove and a second in Sarasota, Fla. Joyce Robinson has been a curator at the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University for nearly 15 years and also is an affiliate associate professor of art history at Penn State.
Penfield and gallery assistant Penny Lutz will select one of three pieces to be displayed by each of the selected artists, the artists will choose one piece, and the final piece is determined by online votes cast by the general public during the month of March.
After three selections are made both by-and-for each artist, prize juror Carrie Wissler-Thomas will determine a first prize winner who will receive $500, and second and third prize winners who will receive $300 and $100, respectively. What’s more, a Viewer’s Choice prize will be awarded at the close of the exhibition – something Penfield said the gallery has done for exhibitions in the past. Anyone attending the gallery during the show’s run can write their vote for the best overall piece and submit it into a designated ballot box.
Voting for the “Art Alive!” show is currently open and will continue through March 31. To vote, visit www.pct.edu/artalive. You may vote more than once, however for your vote to be counted you must complete the entire process, which is estimated to take five minutes or less.
The exhibit will be on display in the Penn College of Technology Gallery from May 30 through June 28. The exhibit’s Opening Reception will be 5 to 7 p.m. May 30, and prizes will be awarded at 6 p.m. by prize juror Carrie Wissler-Thomas. The Gallery is located on the third floor of the Madigan Library, on the campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology, which is located at One College Avenue in Williamsport. For more information, or detailed directions to the gallery, visit www.pct.edu/artalive.