This winter’s cold weather has not stopped a group of local artists from producing quality work.
Allied Artists of Johnstown’s 2014 Juried Winter Exhibition, which will feature 33 artworks, will be on display through March 1 at AmeriServ Financial, 216 Franklin St. in downtown Johnstown.
“We have a smaller show, but it’s high quality,” said Christopher Tower, who is co-chairman along with Ann Dougherty.
“We got one new member from this show.”
Tower, who became a member of Allied Artists at the past winter show and is now vice president, received an honorable mention for “Exodus,” his colorful pen and brush creation.
Tower said he has doodled since he was a child, but got serious about his art about seven years ago.
“I draw every day,” he said.
“It’s fun. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it.”
Tower said Allied Artists of Johnstown would like to thank everyone for supporting the arts in the community.
“We would like to express our gratitude to members who prepared this exhibit, to the AmeriServ staff, to our patrons for their generous support, to our juror, to those who helped to receive and hang the exhibit, to those who donated the refreshments for the artist’s reception and to those in the community who view our work,” Tower said.
Juror Charles Olson said the very idea of an artist’s group show in January is to demonstrate to a winter-weary public that the art spirit and the energy of a region’s artists is ever present.
He believes this is something to be valued, supported and respected.
“Artists work in the isolation of their studios, so when they decide to venture out to share the results of this engagement, we should recognize the opportunity and attend the exhibition,” Olson said.
“It is for us to see how they are responding to life within our shared regional culture. What motivates them? What subjects are important here? What materials are used in the search for images?”
Award winners as well as honorable mentions used oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen and ink, colored pencil, tissue paper, photography, sculpture and jewelry to craft their vision.
“Wall Box with Large Plumb,” a wooden sculpture by Norman Ed, won the Ron Corl Award.
“Plimoth Wife,” an oil painting by Diana Williams, won the Donna Housel Award.
“A Night with Larry and Zeke’s,” an oil painting by Lori Perrine-Miglioretti, won the Edward and Kay Kale Award.
“Optimum,” a watercolor, gouche and marker design by Kathleen Kase Burk, won the Ned Wert Award.
“Low Horizon,” a black-and-white photo by Bill Dembowski, won the Patricia Bartis Award.
“Fair Lights,” a time-lapse color photo of a Ferris wheel by Brandon Hirt, won the RE/MAX Team Realtors Award.
“1954 Ford Truck,” an oil painting by Lora Marsh, won the Janet and William Toth Award.
In addition to Tower’s entry, other honorable mentions include Lori Perrine Miglioretti for “Applesauce,” an oil painting featuring an apple on top of a mason jar; Lisa Mull for “Crackle Agate Fringe,” jewelry; Alan Rauch for “Portrait of a Woman,” an acrylic painting; and Carolyn T. Thompson for “Polar Vortex Fairy Dance,” a black-and-white photo of frost patterns on a window.
Olson said jurying such an exhibition is no easy task because much rides on the given philosophy of the juror.
“For this judge, group shows, given their wide diversity of subject and technique, should be assessed on a foundation of quality within genre and technique,” Olson said.
“Everything should pivot on the point of high quality in idea and technique in order to inspire the viewer.”
Olson also believes the works selected should reinforce a traditional aesthetic, but always consider what is evolving and what is new – encompassing both tradition and change.
“I personally feel the selected works reflect this range well,” Olson said.
Olson noted that such a show should contribute to the regional identity.
“Here in Johnstown, we see artists reinforcing traditions and expanding into new territory, united by commitment and quality,” Olson said.
Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.
What: Allied Artists of Johnstown’s 2014 Juried Winter Exhibition.
Where: AmeriServ Financial, 216 Franklin St., downtown Johnstown.
When: Through March 1.