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Dec. 16, 2018 | Sunday
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Walker Industries Art Competition at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
Lise Andreana and Rima Boles. (Lauren O'Malley/Niagara Now)

The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Canada-wide event.

The Walker Industries Art Competition invites artists from all over the country to submit their work for the chance to win up to $2,500.

The deadline for submissions for the juried contest is March 30, 2019, and they've already had "many inquiries,” says Rima Boles, the centre’s director. “We gave the artists a lot of time so they could create original works from scratch,” she explains.

Chair of the Pumphouse board Lise Andreana says, “Victoria Wisdom — our marketing chair — and I went to see John Fisher, the CEO of Walker Industries, and presented this idea. He was very enthusiastic.” She goes on to point out that it’s a fitting donation, given that Walker Industries made the Pumphouse possible to begin with. “25 years ago, they gave us the money to renovate, get rid of the raccoons, and put glass in the windows. They’ve been a generous donor all along,” she says.

A panel of six jurors has been chosen to adjudicate the competition: three from arts academe, and three locals involved in the art world. The local judges are artist Sari Marais, professor emerita Lenore Richards, and real estate agent and art collector Perry Quinn. “I was honoured to be asked,” says Quinn, who was also an art dealer at one point in his career.

From the academic realm come Colleen Reid, an associate professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design, practicing architect and artist; Doris Van Den Brekel, a visual arts and education consultant, and Dr. Peter Vietgen, an associate professor of visual arts education at Brock University.

The jurors have been paired off in teams of two, one from each category, and will do the bulk of the judging this way. The final 25 candidates will be chosen by the group as a whole.

The work of those finalists — painting, sculpture and pottery — will be displayed at the Pumphouse for the month of July, and into the first weekend of August — for the Art at the Pumphouse Original Art Show and Sale, Aug. 3 and 4. The artworks will also be for sale.

The public can visit the Pumphouse during the month of July to submit their secret ballot (one per person) for the People’s Choice prize, for which an artist will win $250. Second prize in the competition is also $250, and first prize is $2,500.

Established and emerging visual artists from across Canada are encouraged to submit one original work for consideration. Winners will be announced at a party to close the art show and sale on Sunday, Aug. 4. Applications are found at https://niagarapumphouse.ca/.

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