The Southwestern Pennsylvania Arts Council hosts the 27th annual show

Nov. 20 – For Southwestern Pennsylvania Council for the Arts’ 27th annual regional judged exhibition, judge Paula Burleigh said she selected “artworks that challenged me to find unexpected joy in the ordinary.”

Her selection included works in multiple mediums by 53 regional artists, which were unveiled during an opening reception on November 12 at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in the Ligonier Valley.

Burleigh, assistant professor of art history and director of the Allegheny Art Galleries at Allegheny College in Meadville, said she was struck by the artists’ visions, which challenge the viewer to “see beyond the limits of our own experience.”

This year’s exhibition is dedicated to Barbara Jones, who retired in April after 26 years as chief curator at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg.

Jones’ support of the arts community is invaluable, said SPCA President Susan Kiren. Jones responded by complimenting the organization.

“There is so much talent here; I wish we had more ways to show it,” Jones told the gathering, encouraging them to “keep making art — it benefits us all.”

Also honored were artists Dai Morgan, first prize for the acrylic painting Runaway Pony; Connie Clutter, second prize for the watercolor “Disparaged”; Stuart Thompson, Third Prize for ART (Albuquerque Rapid Transit) Oil; and Richard McWherter, fourth prize for inkjet on paper, “The Strength of Dreaming”.

Awards of Excellence went to oil painter William Karaffa for Perfections Cold Beckon and Elizabeth Sickles for In the Sunroom.

Awards went to Joseph Ryznar for “Overcast”, plastic six-pack rings and branches; Eileen Stoner for “Goldenrod Gatherer”, graphite on paper; Larry Mallory for The Lantern, watercolor; and Adelberto Ortiz for “Pennant”, acrylic.

Vincenzo Spinelli has been announced as the winner of the People’s Choice Award at last year’s exhibition for his metal and glass sculpture “Guns and Roses”.

The council represents artists from 19 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. The current exhibition runs until February 5th. Visit sama-arts.org for gallery opening hours.

Featuring at the opening: Susan Pollins, Tom Niggel, Kathy and Jim Longacre, Arlene Kendra, Sally Loughran, Ronald Nigro, Bill Kiren, Jeff Kiren, Pat and Bob Majcher, Rosemary Sovyak, Linda Blum, Mary Ellen and Phil Raneri, George and Olive Conte, Richard Stoner, Peg and Bill Panasiti, Alexis Dillon, Jack Mayer, Olga Herbert, Jim Griffith, Debbie and Rob King, Kimberly and Patricia Elliott-Rentler, Clare Kaczmarek, John and Bonnie Hill, Evelyn Lemmon, and Nettie Sullenberger SAMA Site Coordinator and Director of Education Kristin Miller.

Shirley McMarlin is a Contributor to the Tribune Review. You can contact Shirley via email at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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