Art association

South County Art Association’s 94th Member Gallery is a ‘Celebration’ of Local Artists | Arts & Living

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – For 94 years, the South County Art Association’s Annual Membership Exhibition has allowed member artists to exhibit and share their work with each other as well as with non-artist members and the general public, and The tradition continues this year as the gallery kicks off the 94th Annual Members Gallery Exhibition this Saturday, through August 21.

In addition to opening the gallery, the SCAA will also host an opening event titled “Evening Under the Trees: A Celebration of Our Members” tonight from 5-7 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a presentation of the prizes by the juror of the show. and Michael Rose, Exhibitions Director of the Providence Art Club, before the gallery fully opens at 7 p.m.

“The show is just a celebration,” said SCAA executive director Kathleen Carland. “We call it a celebration of our members because it represents that. They get to walk into a room, enjoy seeing others enjoy it, and that’s a wonderful thing.

For Carland, the great interest in the show among the members as well as the possibility of hosting such an opening party is a joyous occasion after almost a year and a half of heartache.

“We feel like we’re coming back from the pandemic,” Carland said. “I personally feel that way and I’m glad people are eager to show their work at the Art Association. It’s a special show because it’s probably the only show of the year where everyone who enters can exhibit.

In this way, the exhibition can also serve as a learning experience for artists discovering their work.

“The other thing it does for people is if they’re new to exhibiting their art as a member, they can be in the exhibit and it just gives them an opportunity to see from start to finish what it’s like to be in an exhibit, from entering to seeing their piece on the wall, that’s the whole process,” Carland said.

While Rose serves as the show’s juror, he does not choose the plays, as a juror traditionally would, but rather judges which ones he feels are most deserving of the awards and cash prizes. For Carland, she believes that such exhibitions encourage more artists, especially those new to exhibition, to submit work.

“It’s a special show because it’s probably the only show of the year where anyone who comes in can exhibit, and as anyone in the art world knows, most exhibits go through a jury, which means that there is a person who decides what happens and what does not and even if these decisions are not intended to denigrate a work, each juror has their own criteria as to why they choose one over the other,” Carland said. “They may be looking for a certain synchronization within the exposition with how things look or they may be more partial to one type of art, that doesn’t mean so not necessarily that your job isn’t good if you don’t get in, but it’s still a process that can be difficult for people.

It is in this exchange of art that she really finds the beauty of the show.

“Being able to see art and for members to see other people’s art is a really beautiful experience for people because not only can they see that other people can appreciate their work, but they can also appreciate the work. from others and it helps them grow as artists and it helps them see how people are reimagining the world in their medium,” Carland said. “It’s a bonding experience for people and I think the general public likes to have a chance to see what is possible. It is an encouragement because everyone starts as a beginner, even Picasso, and each member may not be at the peak of their power or are just starting to learn to express themselves, but everything is valued and everything is appreciated.

With Rose as a juror, Carland said the SCAA knew they had someone with vast knowledge of the Rhode Island art scene.

“We respect Michael because we know he’s a huge art lover,” Carland said. “He’s an appraiser. He also speaks very well and communicates well, so we thought he would be a perfect person… He has such a visual appreciation for art in the state of Rhode Island in general that he brings a lot to the job that he does every day when he’s at the Providence Art Club, oh, that translates to a perfect person to talk about art in the community.

As a juror, Rose will select nine prizes, all of which are $100 cash prizes, as well as three honorable mentions. The categories, many named after former members, are the Ann Lewis Parker Award for Best Watercolour, the Lorenzo and Elizabeth Kinney Award for Best Floral – Any Medium, the Dorcas Toney Award for Best Functional Pottery , the Visconti Sculpture Prize, the Mary Ann Carney Prize. for Pottery, Best Photography, Best Oil/Acrylic, Best Drawing, Print or Pastel, and Best Mixed Media, Collage or Assemblage.

Additionally, gallery visitors will be able to vote in-gallery for People’s Choice Awards for the duration of the gallery. Prizes will be announced after the exhibition run, which ends August 21.

Tickets for “Evening Under the Trees: A Celebration of Our Members” are available for sale on the SCAA website, southcountyart.org. Tickets are $25 for current members and $40 for non-members and guests.

The SCAA is located in the historic Helme House at 2587 Kingstown Rd. in Kingston and the gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Their next exhibition, The Great Art Heist, kicks off August 26 and runs until September 17, with the art heist event itself taking place on September 18.

For more information, visit southcountyart.org.