Every year the Lancaster Museum of Art hosts the Community Art Awards exhibition (previously known as the Open Art Awards.) It is an open exhibit where anyone who “lives, works, or worships” in Lancaster County can submit one piece to the gallery. Understandably, some years this lack of jurying is evident, though it is great to have a venue where you can see a panoply of what the county has to offer.
This year the exhibition is particularly fine and the level of art is very professional. One thing about living in a smaller community is that there is less of a taboo on certain forms of art. Watercolors tend to get a bad rap in the “art world” even though they’re tremendously difficult and can be very evocative and beautiful. This exhibition featured a fair number of watercolors, and my favorite piece in the exhibit was Joanne Hensel’s watercolor, Milkpods at Middlecreek. She has a marvelous depth of field and contrasts sharper details with a misty background. There’s a dark, stormy sky and a range of rusts and dark grey teals makes an excellent color contrast.
It’s an interesting blend of media, with woodcuts, acrylics, oils, and mixed media pieces. Most of the pieces are painting (or wall pieces) but there are a few sculptures and craft pieces. Along with my Scorpius, the Lancaster Designer Chapter was represented by Ted Rasmussen, who has a turned wood bowl. While I always associate him with his super thin turned pieces, this bowl is chunkier, though smooth with some beautiful burl details.
On an aside note, my piece was displayed backwards. This is funny because when I dropped it off, the woman in front of me had a really complicated piece that needed to be assembled and I said,”mine is pretty self evident.” Obviously it’s not as self evident as I thought. It looks a little like it’s mooning the room to me. Next time, I’ll know to mark it better.
The exhibition runs through August 26th and it is a great example of the different pieces Lancastrians create. Also you can vote for the People’s Choice Award (hint, hint.) Plus it’s about 2 blocks away from my favorite coffee house, Square One which you should also visit if you’re in the area.