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Art & Museums

Ligonier museum exhibition showcases rich regional art scene

Shirley McMarlin
| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, 1:33 a.m.
Watercolor painter Thomas McNickle, a New Castle native and graduate of Edinboro State University, is juror for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Council for the Arts 23rd Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition.
Watercolor painter Thomas McNickle, a New Castle native and graduate of Edinboro State University, is juror for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Council for the Arts 23rd Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition.
“Regal Duo,” by Elizabeth Asche Douglas of Rochester, Beaver County, mixed media on stretched canvas
“Regal Duo,” by Elizabeth Asche Douglas of Rochester, Beaver County, mixed media on stretched canvas
Left:  “Junk Yard Dog,” Mark E. Weleski of Natrona Heights, oil on canvas
Left: “Junk Yard Dog,” Mark E. Weleski of Natrona Heights, oil on canvas
“Hookroller Included,” by Larry R. Mallory of Glen Campbell, Indiana County, watercolor on paper
“Hookroller Included,” by Larry R. Mallory of Glen Campbell, Indiana County, watercolor on paper

Southwestern Pennsylvania is rich in natural beauty, history and tradition — and in artistic talent, as evidenced by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Council for the Arts 23rd Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition.

Running Nov. 16 through Feb. 3 in the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley, the show will feature 67 works by artists from 19 counties in Pennsylvania’s southwestern corner.

“Since its inception, the exhibition has become known for its freshness and energy in the art of emerging young artists and for the dazzling presentations of established artists who are developing a new direction with their art,” according to a release from SAMA.

Featured works will employ various media including oil, pastel, photography, watercolor, wood, masonry and others.

“This exhibition demonstrates a vast array of media and conveys such a unique and exciting ambiance,” says Kristin Miller, SAMA-Ligonier Valley site coordinator. “It is always innovative and dynamic, and we look forward to seeing what the artists have created each year.

“This is our 15th year hosting this fantastic exhibition, and we hope to continue for many more,” Miller says.

Thomas McNickle, a New Castle native who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Edinboro University, served as exhibition juror. A member of the National Watercolor Society, McNickle’s honors include a 1992 Outstanding Alumni Award in the Arts from his alma mater.

McNickle’s work has been featured in many solo and group shows in Western Pennsylvania and across the United States.

About selecting the pieces, McNickle says, “When I look at art I look for two things: technique (style) and content (meaning). … For me then, the best work is that which combines style and meaning so that the viewer is rewarded with both solid technique and the experience of another person’s vision. Each must complement the other.”

This year’s exhibition and catalogue are dedicated to Janet Bucciarelli, who served as SPCA president from 2012 to 2017, and now serves on the council’s advisory board. Bucciarelli was museum coordinator/manager and exhibition curator at SAMA-Ligonier Valley from 2003 to 2008.

The SPCA is offering four mini-travel grants of $250 to school groups interested in viewing the exhibition, treasurer Bonnie Hoffman says.

Since the grant’s inception in 2012, the council has welcomed eight area school districts to the museum for docent tours of its annual exhibits.

New this year, the council is offering a PowerPoint presentation on the exhibition, which council docents can present at area schools between Feb. 4 and April 30, 2019.

Information on the grants, presentations, exhibition opportunities, other council news and archived material is available at spcarts.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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