by Dave Warner

A great crowd was on hand for the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts awards ceremony for the winners in the Annual Regional Art Exhibit on Thursday night. Work was on display from painters, photographers, sculptors, etchers, lithographers, fiber artists, potters, and other fine-arts-makers. There was no theme for the show, even though there have been in the past.

According to Fine Arts Committee Chair Pat Callahan “It’s a regional show that we do every year. The prizes are great, $500 for first place, $300 for second, and $200 for third.”

Judging the work this year, was artist Doug Whitfield. He was born in 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio. He grew up in a family full of artists and began to realize as a youngster that his world was art and art was his world. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Mohawk Valley Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology and Syracuse University.

Whitfield’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions throughout the United States, and in Europe and Asia. His work has been included in numerous two-person and group shows throughout the country. He has received countless awards and honors for his paintings. Whitfield’s studio and home are in upstate New York at Cedar Lake.

The first place winner astounded Whitfield in that he first thought it was a painting, then a photograph, and then as he got even closer, he realized that it was embroidery. He said, “I’ve never seen anything quite like this.” Emi Hughes, a student who had just graduated from West Canada Valley High School was the artist that he was talking about, and her father was on hand to accept the award for her because she was traveling.

The other winners this year were Celia Clark, Second, local favorite Bob Willman, Third, and Erika Hoffman, Honorable Mention.

The show will run through the entire month of August. The next event for the center will be the 2019 Annual Great Art Giveaway, with an opening reception on Friday, September 6th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Tickets are $5/each or $20 for five.

The MVCA is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 pm until 4 pm. You can find out more by visiting mohawkvalleyarts.org.