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Woman’s Club holds annual art exhibit

Third-grader Evelyn Johnson shows off her work.

Third-grader Evelyn Johnson shows off her work.

More than 150 people came out to the Buckingham Arts Center over the past two weekends for the Buckingham County Woman’s Club’s (BCWC) annual community art exhibit.

According to Agnes Cramer, historian and corresponding secretary for the BCWC, the community art exhibit has been held for more than 30 years.

The competition is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in public, private and home schools in the community. The professional and semi-professional artists in the community are also invited to enter the competition both to be judged and to sell their items.

“The exhibit is designed to be an outlet for the entire community,” former WCBC president Jackie Fairbarns said.

Judging is broken down into age range and category. Kindergarten through second grade are judged together, then grades three through five, six through eight and nine through 12.

Each age range was further broken down into the category. Some of the categories included mixed media, colored pencil, crayon, acrylic and oil paints. Writing and craft categories were also judged, including leatherwork, woodwork, photography and other

Carter Thomas shows one of his favorite pieces he brought with him to the exhibit.

Carter Thomas shows one of his favorite pieces he brought with him to the exhibit.

crafting media. A judging panel gave each piece first place, second place, third place, honorable mention or a participation sticker.

“It’s been a big social event for years,” historian and corresponding secretary Agnes Cramer said. “The children are so excited when they come to show off their artwork. It’s well-received by the public.”

First-grader Jacob Johnson was happy to show off his artwork, a cut-paper owl.

“We had to cut paper out and glue and color it,” Jacob explained. “It was fun and I’m glad I got a ribbon.”

“Very proud,” Jacob’s mother Murai said of her son’s achievement.

“It’s exciting,” his father James added.

Patsy Miessler, the recording secretary for the BCWC, said she loved seeing the kids and their families come out and see the artwork.

“My favorite part is watching these kids come in dragging their grandparents and parents and saying, ‘That’s mine! That’s mine!’ and they are so excited and you get just as excited along with them,” Miessler said. “And it’s great seeing the grandparents get excited; we had two tables of grandparents and parents and the children last week that sat for an hour showing (and) looking at the kids’ and grandkids’ works.”

One of three oil paintings submitted by Sandy Bruton.

One of three oil paintings submitted by Sandy Bruton.

“One of the things I’ve noticed while here was seeing some of the kids when they’re starting kindergarten and seeing those names each year and seeing how beautifully they progress in the art field,” BCWC Second Vice President of the BCWC and Art Show Co-Chair Sharon Andrews said. “I think part of it is functions like this where they get to see their artwork appreciated where otherwise it may have just been brushed aside.”

Artist Sandy Bruton submitted three oil paintings to the show this year. Bruton said she has been painting for 10 years.

“When I was a little girl, I said I was going to be an artist when I grew up and then life intervened,” Bruton recalled. “When I was 55, I retired from being a teacher and decided to start painting and I’ve been doing it off and on ever since then.”

Bruton said she loves being able to express herself. She explained she prefers painting because the artist can show what he or she sees and interprets rather than what is actually there.

“When you take a photograph you have to show (your viewers) what was there, not what you saw,” said Bruton, comparing with

Jackie Fairbarns sits next to her entry, created from torn tissue paper.

Jackie Fairbarns sits next to her entry, created from torn tissue paper.

painting. “But when you paint, you don’t have to stick with the photograph. You get to share the way you see the world with others without the filter of an actual reality.”

Woodworkers and other craftsmen brought their artwork to be judged as well.

Ramon Stafford stands next to three leatherworking pieces he brought with him to the exhibit.

Ramon Stafford stands next to three leatherworking pieces he brought with him to the exhibit.

Carter Thomas has brought and entered his woodworking projects for judging for the last few years.

“Woodworking uses my time well,” Thomas said. “I love working with my hands and I love the results.”

Fairbarns said the artwork at the exhibit, especially those from children, blew her away.

“I can’t believe the talent some of these kids, especially the kindergarten through third-graders,” she said.

BCWC President Mary Lohr advised artwork that received a blue ribbon will go on to be judged at the Woman’s Club district meeting. After the district meeting, each participant will be able to retrieve their work.

Another judged art exhibit will be held in May.