Last week, the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center (SOMACC) held a reception for their current show, “The Cream of the Crop.” The gallery brought in over 150 people to its reception and Artistic Director Charlotte Gordon says that most of the faces were new and younger than their usual patrons.
“We had a lot of our established art patrons and museum members present, but we saw a lot of new faces as well. We had a lot of younger people and young artists turn up,” Gordon said. “We were very pleased with the outcome. People were enjoying themselves, our brew was flowing—we completely killed a keg—and people just had a really good time.”
The younger crowd was pleasing for the museum staff, because they are always trying to reel in interest from new people.
“It is kind of a trend we are seeing nationwide, that many cultural groups, operas especially, are seeing that their median viewing age is getting older and older,” Gordon explained. “We feel very strongly that a museum needs to be for the living artist, especially for an area that the artists don’t really have that much representation. So, at our museum, we are all about what is being made now. We are always bringing in new work.”
“The Cream of the Crop” is the museum’s premier, juried exhibition featuring the most outstanding art created by artists living within an 85 mile radius of Portsmouth. The event is held every other year/ Included in this year’s exhibition are over 100 works in a variety of mediums, techniques and styles, reflecting the rich diversity, independence and a sense of place in a unique region.
This is the first Cream of the Crop that Directors Charlotte Gordon and Mark Chepp have been a part of and is the largest scale setting of local art that the two have witnessed.
“I think the quality of work is outstanding,” Gordon said. “I’m a real proponent of artists and I feel that part of our role, as a museum, and putting on a juried exhibition like this, is that we put together the best representation possible for the artists.”
The Southern Ohio Museum is at 825 Gallia Street, in the heart of Portsmouth’s downtown, and has two entrances. The entrance on Gallia leads to the lobby and front of the museum and the Sixth Street entrance features a handicapped ramp. The Security Central Plaza is off to the left of the front entrance and is often reserved by the museum during their functions. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m; Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays. Not only will the artwork of Cream of the Crop be for sale, but the museum also has their museum gift shop that is by the counter. Tours are offered by scheduling. A museum official can be reached at 740-354-5629.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.