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Regional Juried Art Show puts diverse works on display at arts council
Editor's note: This story has been changed to say Brenda Seyer won third place with her Batik piece "My Peaceful Place."
First Friday offers a variety of events every month, and today, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri adds a little more variety with one show: the annual Regional Juried Art Show. The exhibits this year reach into the triple digits and cover many media, from sculpture to photography to painting.
Arts council executive director Amy Pool said this year's statement of purpose for entries to the show asked that they "interpret the people, places and things that are representational of this five-state region."
The art show drew artists 18 or older living within 175 miles of Cape Girardeau, which means artists from Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee or Arkansas could enter.
"There are 101 pieces; there are 3-D and 2-D items," Pool said.
Darlene Spell's photograph "Behind the Ice Curtain," which won an international award, is one of the entries in the Regional Juried Art Show.
"We also have a sculpture from Matt Miller," Pool said. "He has gained a bit of notoriety lately; he's got a lot of the outdoor pieces and is a very good sculptor."
Pool said there are some new names in this year's show.
"We have some people who just decided to apply and were accepted, which we're excited about."
The Visual Arts Co-op has several entries from past and present members.
Adam Long, a professional sculptor from St. Charles, Mo., judged this year's show. Long has worked as an art educator for the past 15 years, has had his artistic work featured in exhibitions around the state and has been seen and published in several St. Louis area publications.
An arts council volunteer created a website so Long was able to view all of the pieces online, which opened accessibility for the arts council to use a judge from outside Southeast Missouri.
The Best in Show award went to Judi Brey for her watercolor titled "Byrd Creek." She will receive a $500 cash prize. Second place and $250 went to Miller's sculpture "C" and Brenda Seyer took third, earning $100 for her Batik piece named "My Peaceful Place."
Nathan Pierce, Robert Grable and Tom Neumeyer earned honorable mentions and $50.
"I was really taken by the scenery that I decided to paint in 'Byrd Creek,'" Brey said.
Her favorite media is watercolor, mainly because of the ability to control the color and lighting.
"I'm not a fast painter, and like to capture what I see with a photograph," she said. "Lighting and shading change in an instant, and I want to capture the essence of the scene when it first captures me."
Brey said she paints life as she sees it during her country drives, and does a lot of floral and natural paintings, but also paints portraits regularly. "Byrd Creek" was taken from a scene she came across driving north of Flickerwood Arena in Fruitland. This is her second year to win Best in Show.
The exhibition of the Regional Juried Art Show begins with a First Friday reception from 5 to 9 p.m. and continues through Jan. 29. Several artists will be at the reception.
"The artists will be easy to talk to, which is a good opportunity for the people to get to know about what these artists are doing," Pool said. "Sometimes, they hear the name or they see the work, but they don't really have the meaning behind the piece. This is an opportunity to get to know just what makes you drawn to the piece."
Pool said the arts council is hoping that people will start thinking of these pieces and others in the gallery as gifts.
"We hope that people find something that strikes them and would want to purchase," said Pool, who added that people have a tendency to forget that a lot of these pieces are for sale. "Being able to find something that you love and talk to the artist about that piece is really special."
Pertinent address: 32 N Main St, Cape Girardeau