More than 60 artists are being featured this month at the Wyoming County Courthouse and the Endless Mountains Council of the Arts galleries, in the 21st Regional Art Exhibit 2018.
The opening reception at the courthouse and the gallery was held on Friday, Aug. 3. The exhibit will remain on display at both locations through Aug. 26.
“We used to do this every year, but we ran into a problem because of lack of entries,” said EMCA gallery director Marion Stroka. “So we decided to do it every two years. This is the first time for the new cycle.”
Stroka explained that the exhibit includes 84 entries. This is a juried show, with three prizes awarded. Juror for the event was Theresa Crowley Spitler.
“She’s from Montoursville,” Stroka explained. “I try to find a judge from as far away as possible. If I picked someone from Wilkes-Barre, there’s a good chance they would know at least some of the artists making submissions.
Entries run the gamut of mediums, including watercolors, acrylic, oil, and mixed media.
The three winners have already been picked, with Sue Palackas taking first place with ‘Internal Flame.’ Second place was taken by Nance Brown, with ‘Man From Alamogordo.’ Third place was won by Amy Hoi Ngan Hsiao for ‘L.A. Freeway.’
Prizes for each place were $500, $300, and $200 respectively, Stroka explained.
“It’s a mixed media,” Palackas said about ‘Internal Flame.’ “It combines lots of gels and gauze and acrylic paints.”
Palackas has been painting for about 10 years. This is the first time one of her pieces has won at the Regional Art Exhibit.
“It’s hard to say,” Palackas said about winning. “I never would have expected it. It’s really hard to accept winning first place over all the other wonderful paintings that were submitted.”
How Brown created ‘Man From Alamogordo’ - a watercolor portrait - is an interesting story.
“He’s a mystery man,” she explained. “I don’t know who he is.”
Brown spotted the man when she and her husband were at a gas station in New Mexico.
“I asked if I could take some photographs of him, explaining that I thought he had an interesting face. He told me ‘I’ve been called a lot of things, but never interesting before.’”
The man agreed, and Brown took several photographs of him. Her husband was getting gas at the time, and Brown spoke to him for a few minutes. But when she returned to thank the gentleman, he was gone.
Working from the photographs, Brown painted ‘Man From Alamogordo,’ while still in New Mexico.
“I never did get his name,” Brown explained, saying she twice returned to the gas station in the hopes of meeting him again, but was unable to track him down.
Hsiao started painting when she was 16 in her native Hong Kong. Now 41, Hsiao lives in Montrose and has participated in many open artists tour.
“It’s acrylic, an abstract landscape,” Hsiao said about ‘L.A. Freeway.’
Some have asked her if the painting depicts something from China, but she assures them that is exactly what the title says.