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Apr. 19, 2019 | Friday
Local News
National art competition celebrates Pumphouse's 25th year
Rima Boles, director, Lenore Richards, head juror, Cheryl Morris, member of the board, stand in front of the Pumphouse. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

The Pumphouse is celebrating 25 years of artistic growth with a Canada-wide art competition.

Sponsored by Walker Industries, the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is holding a competition to spotlight emerging or established artists across the country.

Submissions are being accepted until this Saturday, March 30. For a $25 application fee, artists are asked to provide up to three images of the piece of art being submitted, plus a short bio and artist statement.

Two-dimensional art pieces must be between eight and 36 inches in any dimension. Three-dimensional pieces can be no larger than six feet high by two feet long or wide.

By early Wednesday afternoon, the Pumphouse had received 130 submissions. Rima Boles, director, said many were received over the last few days, expecting to see many more before the submission deadline.

The art media being submitted have been varied. The largest percentage are paintings so far, she said.

“We have had mixed media, we’ve had sculpture submissions, drawings.

There’s a total of $3,000 in cash prizes to be won. First place is awarded $2,500, second is $250. Third place, the people’s choice award, is also $250.

The 25 finalists will be notified via email by June 15.

Boles said the art centre provides opportunities for artists locally on an on-going basis but for the 25th anniversary, “We wanted to reach out to a wider group of artists beyond the Niagara Region.”

“Of course, we want to represent the Niagara region, and we do with a lot of our exhibitions on a yearly basis. But we want to reach out further across Canada and we wanted to provide opportunities for new artists to get some extra publicity.”

In a media release, board chair Lise Andreana said Walker Industries is committed to the community and supports the arts.

“We are thrilled Walker Industries took up the challenge to become the art competition sponsor,” Andreana said. “With this competition we hope to discover and feature a whole new group of artists and bring their works to public attention.”

The competition will be judged by a panel of six jurors – renowned experts in the Canadian art field.

Boles said the committee working on planning the 25th anniversary celebration created another committee to deal with the competition. Through that, the panel of jurors was selected.

“One of our jurors, Lenore Richards, joined that committee and sort of took on the larger role, helping to coordinate. She reached out to some of her contacts in the art community to join the jury.”

The work of the 25 finalists will be on display at the Niagara Pumphouse and Arts Centre for a one-month gallery show. That show will coincide with the 14th annual Art at the Pumphouse Original Art Show and Sale on Aug. 3 and 4.

“That’s our big indoor and outdoor event. So that will be at the end of that exhibition. It attracts over 2,000 people. We’re hoping to get a good turnout so people can cast their vote for the people’s choice award.”

The last day of the exhibition will also include the Pumphouse’s 25th anniversary party, on Aug. 4.

Boles said the competition is an ideal way for artists to gain exposure.

“For artists thinking about submitting, I would say that this is a great opportunity to have your work reviewed by a jury of arts professionals, an opportunity to exhibit as part of the group exhibition of 25 finalists and a chance to be selected for a prize.”

Artists can submit their art through the online form on the Pumphouse’s website.

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