The Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center announces the opening of the 2022 Cream of the Crop juried exhibition on Saturday, August 27, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. This is the largest Cream of the Crop to date with 84 artists submitting 225 works of art. This year’s juror, Kelly Pontoni, is the Collection Manager of the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as an exhibiting printmaking artist. “It was a pleasure to see all of the work from the artists of this Appalachian region. It is well done, unique, and it has a richness to it. I was very impressed.”
After the jury process, 163 pieces were selected for the exhibition in many varied media. “We are pleasantly astounded at the turnout this year,” says Artistic Director Charlotte Gordon. “The quality of all of the work is amazing, and so many media are represented; we even have our first video submission. The galleries are full!”
The Cream of the Crop exhibition is open to artists residing within eighty-five miles of Portsmouth. “This is a group of artists that have little gallery representation,” continues Gordon. “It is important that these artistic voices are heard, that the ideas are seen. These artists are the voice of this unique region, they speak directly to our sense of place.”
“Once again, the artists of our region have shown themselves to be equal to the best from Ohio and beyond,” comments Executive Director Mark Chepp. Artists represent Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
Every work of art is for sale. Last year over $14,000 was distributed to artists in prize money and sales. “The collectors of the region are as eager for this exhibition as the artists are! Patrons are able to place bids to come in and see the artwork prior to the public opening. It is a very competitive process- those who bid the most come in first,” explains Gordon. “This year most of the Purchase Patrons have returned and we added many new ones. Collecting local art is fun!” If anyone is interested, please contact the Museum at 740-354-5629. The early-birds get to view all of the art- even those works that did not make it into the exhibition.
This year the artists are also offered “Exhibition Awards” by the businesses in the new Arts, Culture and Innovation District of Portsmouth, in which the Museum resides. The business owners are coming in and selecting works they respond to. They are inviting those artists to bring their original artwork to their businesses for the first Art Crawl that is happening on Saturday, October 15.
Cream of the Crop opening reception is Saturday, August 27, 6:00 – 9:00 pm. The awards will be announced at 7:00 pm. The reception is admission free.