By Joseph Pratt
The Portsmouth Public Library’s (PPL) Main Branch art outlet, the Appalachian Regional Talent (ART) Gallery, is in the middle of displaying its August showcase of non-traditional art, which includes every other form of artwork not included in their regularly showcased mediums.
Several pieces were submitted and are currently on display behind the receptionist area of the library. The artwork being showcased this month includes cross-stitch and collage work by two talented local artists
Sam Lee, librarian and ART Director, started the gallery last year, wanting to provide a common showcase space for local artists.
“I think this month’s gallery is great, because no one is left out of showcasing their medium, if they don’t fit in any other category,” Lee said.
Lee said that the laissez-faire attitude over this month’s submissions often provide judges and patrons with opportunities for really unique displays of art, since rules are pretty much off the table.
“I think the pieces are unique and creative,” Lee said. All of them are different and unlike the other, which is what I love.”
Lee said that she loved the pieces submitted, but gravitates towards a piece created by local Susan Lonney. Lonney’s piece that is admired by Lee is “Steps,” which is a collage of magazine and book pages that create a scenery image.
Lonney said she used to be terrified of the blank canvas and wasn’t much of an artist, although she tried for forty years. It wasn’t until she took a class at Shawnee State University, with Professor Toni Hatfield, that she began pursuing it more and working on her creative skills.
First place went to Tammi Pate for “Halloween Fairy,” second place went to Susan Lonney for “Chickens” and third place went to Tammi Pate for “Forrest Chapel.” July’s People Choice Award went to Carolyn Cottrell for her watercolor called “Frog Ballerina.”
Next month’s category is one of the library’s more popular selections, featuring oil and acrylic paint. Deadline for submission is this Saturday. Some paintings have already been dropped off and Lee said she is very excited for the upcoming show.
“I think more people participate in oil and acrylic painting,” Lee said. “This month is one of the harder months to fill, but people always have submissions for the upcoming painting category.”
The deadline for August submissions is Saturday, July 19. Submissions must be prepared for hanging and cannot exceed 16 inches by 20 inches. Questions pertaining to the ART Gallery can be answered by Samantha Hall, at the reference desk, 740-354-5688.
The artwork can also be viewed online at www.yourppl.org/featured/art-exhibit. Submission forms can also be completed online, but artwork requires approval through the PPL director.
The Portsmouth Public Library is at 1220 Gallia St., Portsmouth. Their hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932.