Art show attracts major talent

Published 11:46 am Tuesday, August 6, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Managing Editor

When I heard the Shelby County Arts Council was calling for entries for its fifth annual Juried Art Show, I immediately felt excited.

I’m not planning to enter the show since I have yet to demonstrate any artistic talent. However, I do love this contest and the chance to discover new artists. The contest – and the accompanying show – is a great opportunity for artists and for art lovers.

The contest has 12 categories from painting and printmaking to sculpture and mixed media. The show has grown gradually over the years as the SCAC expanded its reach. This year, organizers expect 80-100 artists to enter the show.

On Sept. 5, the SCAC will host the opening reception for the Juried Art Show, which will feature the winners of the contest. It’s a great chance for art lovers to meet new artists, and perhaps add to their own collection. Some of the artists are local, while others come from outside the county. Either way, they are all talented and represent a range of mediums and styles.

After five years, the show has established a reputation for choosing deserving winners. Last year’s winner, Joanne Fogle, is a Shelby County resident whose artistic inspiration is found in the quarries in the area.

While some of the winners, like Fogle, have a long history in the arts, another previous contest winner was a University of Alabama student.

This year’s winner will be decided by Birmingham-based artist Donny Finley. In an interview with the Shelby County Reporter, Finley made it clear he’s coming to the contest with an open mind.

“One of the main things I look at is creativity,” he said. “I love all sorts of art, so I’m not tied to whether it’s realism or abstract. (I love seeing) an artist who has really put a part of himself into the work.”

Only four days remain to sign up for the contest. I hope you’ll consider submitting a piece, or if you’re simply an art lover like me, I hope to see you at the show.

Katie McDowell is the managing editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at