On Sept. 21, 2013, the Cattaraugus County Arts Council will present the fifth Southern Tier Biennial, a nine-county contemporary art exhibition. The STB was framed to provide rural artists with a professionally juried experience, widespread exposure and significant cash prizes, while providing the Southern Tier audience with a contemporary art experience.
Dual opening receptions on Sept. 21 will begin with an awards ceremony and light refreshments at the Olean Public Library Gallery (OPLG) at 3 p.m. After the awards, the celebration will continue with a reception at 4:30 p.m. at The Center Gallery at JCC in Olean featuring refreshments and hors d’oeuvres by Sheila Darrow. Both events are free and open to the public. The show will hang at JCC and the OPLG until Oct. 25 and is available for free viewing to all during gallery hours.
This year, three Ellicottville area artists were accepted into this prestigious biennial show.
Darlene Allen, who also resides part-time in Grimsby, Ontario, was pleased with the unexpected acceptance of her photograph, having only participated five shows previously. Allen has exhibited her photography publicly for only three years.
“This piece was created on the windshield of a vehicle after the rain subsided. The sky cleared, the water droplets started to evaporate and ‘ascend’ into the heavenly blue sky,” Allen explained. “I am just excited when people see my work and feel the energy of the subject matter.”
Great Valley resident Trevor Brachmann, a jewelry artist for little over a year, had three of his gorgeous pieces juried in this year. He was encouraged to enter the competition by people close to him.
“Inspiration for the works really comes from the stones and from those I’ve studied to learn technique,” said Brachmann. “Making art will never be a job for me but I hope it pays the bills!”
Barbara Fox, a watercolor and oil painter, as well as a U.S. Mint coin designer, from Little Valley, was also juried into the show this year. Her two stunning pieces are titled “Practice Compassion” and “Opportunities Abound.”
This year, 87 artists entered more than 256 pieces of work for the juried competition. Thirty-eight artists were accepted, chosen by two prestigious members of the regional art community: Kate Koperski, Director of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University and John Vanco, Director and Curator of the Erie Art Museum.
All artists accepted into the show receive generous stipends of $100 each and additionally have their work reproduced in a four-color exhibition catalog. Three Honorable Mention winners will be selected by the jurors and receive $500 each. The Best of Show winner will win a $1,000 cash award and a solo show and catalog at the Olean Public Library Gallery in the Fall of 2014. To help with the solo show production, that artist also wins a $1,000 honorarium, $1,000 for show supplies, and $1,000 for a professional development opportunity.
New for the 2013 STB is an interactive audio feature where visitors will be able to hear each artist speak about their work in their own words. Images and audio recordings will also be available at www.southerntierbiennial.com.
The STB is a collaboration among the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, Olean Public Library Gallery, Jamestown Community College, and the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation through the generous sponsorship of the F. Donald Kenney Foundation. For more information, visit www.southerntierbiennial.com