Back by popular demand is the Montgomery Bar Association’s (MBA) second annual countywide art contest for Montgomery County residents, ages 55 and older. This year’s Courting Art contest again asks local professional and aspiring artists to explore on paper or canvas, what it is that they love about Montgomery County.
Artists may drop off their artwork, along with a submission application (available on CourtingArt.com), from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 at the Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Fine Arts Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Selected pieces will be exhibited at MCCC’s Fine Arts Center Gallery during a month-long exhibit from May 8 through June 12.
Returning MBA Outreach Committee Chair, Hon. Carolyn T. Carluccio and Vice-Chair Melissa M. Boyd, Esq., both of whom recently earned the prestigious MBA President’s Award for the committee’s effort in 2013 and statewide recognition by the Conference of County Bar Leaders, suggests even more ambitious plans are in place for this year’s program. A visit to CourtingArt.com suggests there’s still a lot more to love here in Montgomery County and the Bar Association hopes new and returning artists will take their challenge to heart by showcasing even more creative diversity and prowess in their highly anticipated sophomore effort.
“We’re suggesting artists explore new landmarks, themes, traditions and subjects. That’s not to say a new interpretation of a previous theme, scene or landmark won’t be accepted into our month-long exhibition at MCCC’s Fine Arts Center or for the permanent courthouse collection,” Boyd explains. “We’re hoping artists will continue to challenge themselves, so our courthouse collection will continue to expand and reflect all the unique treasures and diversity that make Montgomery County such a great place to live, work and play.”
Last year, the Bar Association and its sponsors awarded over $4,500 in prizes to participating artists, including a $1,000 grand prize.
Joanne Kline, Executive Director for Montgomery County’s Office of Aging & Adult Service and long-time Committee member comments, “I’m delighted to know that the Bar Association will again be utilizing the talents and creativity of older adults and baby boomers here in Montgomery County to create a lasting legacy in our Court House. And who better to tell the stories and create lasting images than those who helped shape our county’s history?”
Community art centers, like the Greater Norristown Arts League, Main Line Art Center, North Penn Art Alliance and others have also been promotional champions of the contest. These organizations offer affordable workshops and exhibition opportunities to residents of all ages and abilities. Several area adult communities known for their resident art programs like Shannondell of Valley Forge, Living Branches and Foulkeways at Gwynedd are also getting behind this year’s Courting Art project. Libraries, non-profits and cultural and economic development catalysts like Creative Montco have again joined in promoting this year’s contest to their constituents. You can even download the Bar Association’s promotional poster from the county website, montcopa.org.
Not all entries will come from professional or trained artists, however. The Bar Association hopes to receive a wide range of entries and plans to again award dozens of prizes to artists of all skill levels. Once entries are hung for the juried exhibition, judges (including judges from our Common Pleas Court, among others) will have the difficult task of selecting a few dozen prize-winning works from this year’s exhibition to be Giclée printed and framed for permanent display in a new location, adjacent to last year’s winners on the Plaza Level of the Courthouse. Original work will be returned and winning artists will again be featured in a special newspaper insert later this year.
Clearly there’s a lot to look forward to in the weeks ahead. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of it. For news, entry forms and additional information on the Montgomery Bar Association’s Courting Art Contest and Exhibition, visit CourtingArt.com.