Awards honor local artists artists

Emily Salmon

A competition aimed at spotlighting regional artists was held last weekend at the Kentucky Museum.

More than 200 works of art were showcased at the U.S. Bank Celebration of the Arts 2004 Open Art Exhibition at the Kentucky Museum.

To be eligible to submit a work of art, the artist had to be a Kentucky resident 18 years old or older and had to live within a 65-mile radius of Bowling Green.

The 17-year-old competition has traditionally been held at U.S. Bank. Because of the exhibition’s growth, this is the first year that the Kentucky Museum has been directly involved with the exhibit.

Donna Parker, the exhibit’s curator at the Kentucky Museum, organized the exhibition.

The exhibition was displayed Saturday and Sunday, and a reception was held for all of the artists on Saturday night to announce the winners. There were seven categories, with both professional and amateur divisions.

The categories were painting, watercolor, works on paper, fiber arts, ceramics, sculpture and photography. Each artist could enter up to two works.

The winners were selected by juror Peter Bodnar III, of Louisville, who decided the awards Friday night.

The Best of Show award was given to Heath Seymour’s “White Flowers From the Collection Series.”

The U.S. Bank Purchase Award was given to “House Divided” by Terry Caturano.

This year, for the first time, the winner of the Purchase Award will go into the permanent collection of the Museum.

Parker said the exhibition was unique because all the works were displayed.

“Unlike many juried exhibitions, it’s an exhibition where everyone that enters work is shown,” Parker said. “What it does is gives our regional artists opportunity to show their work.

“We just have such a wide variety of work in the show. It’s so exciting to be able to present everybody’s art.”

Lucia Mexson, of Bowling Green, helped receive the pieces Friday night and was able to see the art before it was on display.

“It’s a great show,” she said.

Mexson had heard about the exhibit through the news release party held for it and also through the publicity around town.

“They seem to be getting a good crowd,” she said.

Nancy Baird, the department head for the Kentucky Library and Museum, said the works that won awards will be displayed in the museum for several weeks. She said she was impressed with the diversity of the show.

“There is a little bit of every art imaginable,” she said.

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