PORTSMOUTH — The Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center’s biennial Cream of the Crop exhibit which was scheduled to begin this June has been postponed until 2021 amid health and safety concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be the first time in the event’s history that artistic director Charlotte Gordon and her staff have been forced to postpone.
“We have made the command decision that we’re going to do it next summer. We didn’t want to skip two years” Gordon said. “We want to have a full exhibit, we want to give artists something to work towards. It’s an important exhibition for everyone — for us, the artists, the community, the art patrons. It’s a really good show for everyone in the community, so we don’t want to short change it.”
Cream of the Crop exhibit is an every other year exhibit usually takes place in even years and gathers local artists in an 85-mile radius to the museum which is located in downtown Portsmouth. While it was announced Friday that this year’s exhibit would indeed be postponed until the summer of 2021, Gordon also stated that the museum would still hold its’ next scheduled Cream of the Crop exhibit during the summer of 2022 rather than outright canceling either of the events.
In the years when the event has taken place, the exhibit has drawn nearly 100 local artists from the surrounding area. Each artist is allowed to submit up to three pieces for the biennial event, each of which is available for purchase to the public.
“It’s always top-notch work. It’s very fun to solicit the patrons to come in and buy some artwork,” Gordon said. “Even if the work isn’t juried into the show, we allow the patrons that come in to come in and purchase that work. It’s a win-win for the patrons and the artists.”
The SOMACC, which is home to over 25,000 authentic pieces of artwork, brings in an outside judge to award the most-deserving pieces. Most of these pieces are then sold to those buyers who have submitted to the museum their desire to purchase a specific amount of art from the exhibit.
During the most recent Cream of the Crop exhibition held in 2018, Gordon stated that over $13,000 worth of artwork was purchased by different groups or individuals.
“The last two times we’ve done this, I think we’ve sold as much from the show as was in the exhibition,” Gordon said. “It’s a really fun thing for everyone. Just to see the new artwork, it’s a lot of energy. It’s energy which is really funneled toward our unique perspective here in southern Ohio and the river region, reaches down into Kentucky and West Virginia.”
Check out the virtual content the SOMACC has shared with the community by visiting the Southern Ohio Museum’s Facebook page. Information such as membership prices, museum hours of operation, more info about the pieces currently on display at the museum, or information about the upcoming programs offered by the museum can be found by visiting their website https://www.somacc.com/.
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