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Artists association plans 25th show

From seascapes to sculptures, no matter what area art lovers want they will be able to find it at the 25th annual Ironton Artists Association’s Fall Art Show.

Saturday, September 18, 1999

From seascapes to sculptures, no matter what area art lovers want they will be able to find it at the 25th annual Ironton Artists Association’s Fall Art Show.

All artists – professional and non-professional – will join together at noon Sept. 25 on the Ohio University Southern Campus to display and sell their work in the watercolor, pastel, graphic, mixed media, still life, portrait, miscellaneous and sculpture mediums, said Claudia Bryant, association publicity chairwoman.

There also will be a special category – Rivers and Boats.

"We have a beautiful show every year," Mrs. Bryant said. "We usually have in the neighborhood of 60 some artists each year. Some come in from far away, but we usually just attract artists from the West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky areas."

Artists should register their work at the Ironton OUSC campus between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Judging will start at noon and prizes will be awarded at 5 p.m.

"Members of the organization pay $6 to enter, non-members, $12," Mrs. Bryant said. "That money is used for the awards. We give merit awards and places in each category. We also give an encouragement award to one non-professional artist who shows a lot of potential."

This year’s judge will be Stanley Sporny, M.F.A., professor of art at Marshall University. He will judge the show and award cash merit and purchase awards, as well as gift certificates.

Each artist chooses his or her own category to promote fairness in the judging, Mrs. Bryant added.

"It’s not fair to an artist to have to go up against the professional artists that come in," she said. "That’s why we divide the categories up into professional and non-professional categories."

This year, the art show will feature the work of three locally well-known artists – Patty Payne of Ironton, Wanda Boster of Barboursville, W.Va., and Annette Ritche of south point.

"Annette Ritche is a member of our organization and she’s quite well known around this area," Mrs. Bryant said. "She sells quite a bit of her work."

Each piece on display at the show will be priced, and all profits go to the individual artist, Mrs. Bryant added.

To give area artists a place to display and sell their work was the main incentive of founding the Ironton Arts Association in 1975, she added.

"We wanted to encourage artists and give artists an opportunity to show their work publicly," Mrs. Bryant said. "We banded together for the love of art and we wanted to give everyone an opportunity. There are very limited areas for people to show their work, and this show gives artists an opportunity to show their work."

And it’s never too late to take a love of art to the next level and become an artist, Mrs. Bryant said.

"I was a professional teacher and principal," she said. "When I retired, I started taking art lessons. I’ve been taking lessons for six years now and showing my work for five."

Anyone can learn to paint, draw or sculpt if they have the desire, Mrs. Bryant added.

"I’ve heard people say they couldn’t draw a straight line, but you can learn," she said. "Of course, there are some that are more talented than others, but that can be said about anything."

And to display work to the public should not cause budding artists any anxiety pains, Mrs. Bryant said.

"You should just come with a positive attitude, enjoy the show and learn from the other paintings in the show," she said. "Just enjoy it and have fun."