The Schmucker Art Gallery, on the sprawling, verdant campus of Gettysburg College, was the venue for the annual Adams County Arts Council Juried Art Exhibit. While cash awards go to the top three winners, prestige of participating and having works on display adds to an artist’s portfolio. The exhibit encouraged the arts at a time when it is difficult for creative people to commercialize their work in a slow economy.
The arts have never been an easy way to earn a living. Often it is a struggle, even for the most talented, to become known and have a following. Getting gallery space is also growing more difficult as many are forced to close, unable to meet the cost of storefront rental, utility bills and advertising in the face of decreased discretionary spending. Often gallery owners turn away talented but unknown artists, preferring instead big names that will bring attention of media and the buying public.
Keeping alive the tradition of regional art contests that draw media attention as well as visitors and patrons is the goal of Louise Garverick and Judie Butterfield. With their committee of volunteers, they organized and co-chaired the exhibit. It is a major event that draws thousands to enjoy the arts in all its forms.
“We have 48 works by 40 artists on display. There were 84 artists and 231 images submitted. Artists from Pennsylvania and many surrounding states participated” Louise said.
“We were very fortunate to have had Karyn Miller as our impartial juror,” Judie said. “Karyn has chosen works for the exhibit that represent high quality art.”
Karyn Miller serves as Manager of Visual Arts and Communications for the non-profit Cultural Development Corporation in Washington, DC. She is also responsible for artist recruitment at Flashpoint Gallery in DC. “There was an open call for artists from all over. What we received was high caliber art and a diversity of art including fiber and sculpture,” Karen explained.
“As an artist it takes a lot of bravery to put your art on view. Art is deeply personal and provocative. I’m not an artist. My work is in art history. I meet hundreds of artists each year. If I had to exhibit, I’d be terrified,” she added. Respect for not only the work and talent of artists but the turmoil of finding space to exhibit and baring emotions in works on public display was evident in the juror’s care in selecting art from so many qualified entrants to be displayed in the Schmucker Gallery.
The Adams County Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating arts in a community rich with talented people. Inspired by Pennsylvania’s rolling hills, farms, old structures, buildings, barns and steeped with history, many artists have moved to the community that inspires their work. Gettysburg’s many galleries, in a town, frequented by upwards of four million tourists and visitors each year, offer a marketplace for artists’ works.
The Arts Council offers adult and child education programs and has a 10,000 foot arts education center with its own gallery, reception hall, studios and workshops. Many themed events are planned throughout the year including open-air shows and sales, arts camps and classes for kids even a masquerade party and circus party.
The Schmucker Gallery provided an excellent venue for the juried art exhibit. Sculptor Alan Paulson was selected for his “Fold,” a cherry wood sculpture. Mary J. Luquette’s quilt “Crossing Borders” was mixed media. A circularity paper collage appropriately called “Circle” by Millie Bankert was also featured. As was photography, oil and acrylic paintings, embroidery, pencil sketches, water colors, pastels and etchings.
A perfect setting on one of America’s most beautiful college campuses in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania to exhibit art from around the country. Visitors and patrons of the arts enjoyed the fellowship of artists in an ambiance conducive to encouraging the creative process.
To find out more about the exhibit and learn more about the arts council visit their website at www.adamsarts.org. The Schmucker Art Gallery can be accessed at www.gettysburg.edu/gallery. This month the Gettysburg Festival will be celebrating the arts as a prelude to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. For more information visit www.gettysburgfestival.org.