When the Prince Edward Arts Council showcases the finest works of its members during this year’s 24th annual Art in the County event, they will also welcome Canada Day crowds free of charge.
The Arts Council, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, will waive its $3 show admission fee and provide viewers with birthday cake and refreshments, thanks to sponsorship by the Elizabeth Crombie Real Estate Team at Royal LePage ProAlliance.
The annual juried exhibition and sale runs June 23-July 9 this year, upstairs at Picton’s Books & Company on Main Street.
The show highlights the work of member artists who live, or are ratepayers, in the County in a range of media including watercolour, acrylic, oil and encaustic paintings, sculpture, fibre, wood photography, ceramics and glass.
At the media launch Wednesday, event chairperson Annik Despres announced three renowned Canadian art professionals will be jurors this year.
They are: Dr. Laura Brandon, Adjunct Research Professor, School for Studies in Art and Culture, Carleton University. She was previously curator of War Art at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
Sunny Kerr, artist, educator, author and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and Art Conversation at Queen’s University in Kington.
Sonja Scharf, founder, gallery director and photographer with Akasha Arts Projects Inc., Toronto.
“The credentials of these three art professionals are indeed impressive,” said Despres. “We are thrilled they have agreed to lend their time, talent and expertise to jury what has become the premier art exhibition in Eastern Ontario and shine a spotlight on the many talented artists and artisans that make up the fabric of Prince Edward County.”
The three are solely responsible for the show’s content, as well as selecting the five Jurors’ Awards and five Honourable Mention awards.
The annual Otto Rogers Award for Excellence will be chosen by Rogers, a Canadian painter and sculptor who is a resident of the County. His works are found in more than 1,600 public, corporate and private collections across North America.
The show also features the popular “People’s Choice Award” also sponsored by Elizabeth Crombie. That award is presented at the end of the show, determined by visitor ballots.
Since the show’s inception, it has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors and sold more than $250,000 worth of art.
Mayor Robert Quaiff called the show one of the unique events in the municipality.
“Everywhere I go in Ontario I find we are well known for art, wine and food. We have our finger on the pulse and I thank the Arts Council for helping with that.”
Art in the County runs from June 23 to July 9, upstairs at Books & Company on Picton Main Street. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (5 p.m. Sundays and 3 p.m. on July 9). Entry is $3 for adults and children aged 12 and under are free of charge.
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