By JEN CARDINES
Southington Community Cultural Arts (SoCCA) is holding its first annual open juried art show, which will run from Jan. 31 through Feb. 23. On Sunday, Feb. 5, an opening reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. will result in one artist being crowned as “Best in Show.”
Many art centers host exhibits of this nature where local artists can submit pieces to be accepted into a show. Executive director Mary DeCroce said this is something that SoCCA wants to offer every year for the community.
“Many times local artists do not have enough work to have a solo show but would like to exhibit their work,” DeCroce said.
Southington resident Bill Thomson, a nationally acclaimed illustrator, was chosen as the juror due to his experience in the field. Thomson was one of SoCCA’s first featured artists with illustrations from his children’s books. He continues to be an active part of the community. Most recently, Thomson’s trilogy, “Chalk,” “Fossil,” and “The Typewriter,” served as inspiration for an art celebration at Hatton Elementary School last October.
“Bill’s background makes him a perfect candidate to look at the artwork and decide which pieces are acceptable,” DeCroce said. Thomson has received over 75 awards in his career and is a professor of illustration at the University of Hartford’s Art School.
This year’s show is accepting two dimensional works that includes watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, pen and ink, charcoal, mixed media, collage and pastel. The center is looking to expand the submission offerings in future years to bring in a larger variety.
“We need more lead time to categorize a show that would also include photography and sculpture,” DeCroce said. “Next year, we will make sure we have time for different categories.”
Juried art shows are not new to this community. Paris in Plantsville held shows when they were open. For more that 25 years, Southington Arts and Crafts Association has sponsored a juried art show each spring at Gallery 53 in Meriden. However, this is a first for SoCCA since their grand opening in the Gura Building last year.
“The wonderful thing about these kinds of exhibits is that whether you are an artist who creates artwork as a hobby or as a professional, you have the same opportunity to show your artwork to the public,” said DeCroce.
All works submitted must be original, no larger than 30” by 40,” and securely wired for hanging. No saw tooth hangers will be accepted. Unframed canvas is acceptable with painted sides and no visible staples. Work must not have been previously exhibited at SoCCA, and all artists must be at least 18 years old.
The artist’s first entry is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers, with second entries at $10. Entries must be submitted on Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Best in Show awards will recognize the top three artists. First place will receive $300. Second place is $200, and third place will receive $100. Additionally, three honorable mentions will receive a membership to SoCCA.
For more information, contact Mary DeCroce at (860) 276-1581 or email@example.com.