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Valley Art Club readies 71st annual exhibit at Monessen Library

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Christine Gilotty had a simple answer for how the Valley Art Club has managed to flourish into its eighth decade.

“There's a lot of talent in the valley and once people realize we're here, they want to associate with that talent,” Gilotty said.

Some of that talent will be on display when the Valley Art Club holds its 71st art exhibit in the Monessen Library. The exhibit will open with a reception 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 22. The exhibit runs through Oct. 3.

Five new members will be showing for the first time this year. The club's total membership is 20.

This is the second year the exhibition has been held at the library.

Laurel Mountain Winds, a woodwind quartet, will perform during the exhibition opening.

Patrick Daugherty, director of the Frank L. Melega Museum in Brownsville, will be judge for the show.

He earned a bachelor of fine arts from Penn State University and masters of fine arts from the University of Wisconsin.

He is currently an instructor at the Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington.

Categories for the exhibit are: best of show, best oil or acrylic, best water color, best other media, best theme (this year's theme is toys) and best Valley scene.

“Best valley scene is a favorite,” Gilotty said. “People like to see paintings of places they recognize.”

During the show, first place, second place, third place and honorable mention will be awarded in the following categories: genre, landscape/sea scape, portrait, still life floral, modern experimental and animal wildlife.

Gilotty said the club has experienced growth in the past two years with five new members joining.

Organized in 1941 as the Monessen Women's Club, they first became the Monessen Art Club a year later, and changed the name to The Valley Art Club in 1951.

The goal of the club is “to promote art, cultural appreciation and the beauty of our valley,” Gilotty noted.

“We range from beginners to people who have been painting and have years and years of experience,” said Gilotty.

Artists wishing to join the club should bring two original pieces of art — they can't be copies — to a meeting and tell about themselves, their background and education.

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month, starting in March with a luncheon. Meetings are held 6 p.m. in the SPHS Building in Charleroi.

In June, the club has a “paint out.”

“We pick a location, have lunch and paint for a few hours,” Gilotty said.

Locations have included Cedar Creek Park, Round Hill Park, Mingo Park and the Monongahela Aquatorium, as well as different farms in the area and even along the river.

That often leads to best valley scene contest entries, which have to be recognizable as some places in the Valley.

Gilotty said she prefers watercolor, but plans to enter an oil painting in this year's show.

“I love being in the club because I love associating with other artists,” said Gilotty, a Rostraver Township resident and member for 20 years.

“Everybody has a different take on how they approached their painting. The new members I find very interesting. Their perspective is different. I learn things from other members.”

New members are welcome. For more information on the club, call Gilotty at 724-930-0147.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or