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Onslow County Juried Art Show:

Images 11—a fall-juried show
Onslow Art Society
Council for the Arts
826 New Bridge Street
9/25-26: Submission deadline
10/2: Artist reception

Only two forms of imagery will not be suited for the upcoming “Images 11” show held by the Onslow Art Society (OAS): nudes of any kind and any portrait of Jesus smoking. Other than that, “We’re really accepting of everything,” Connie Burke, the OAS publicity chair, says. She adds softly, “We can’t accept things that can be considered offensive, but we really don’t like to turn anything away.”

Their annual fall juried art show encourages North Carolina artists to submit oil, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, pen/inks, pencils, charcoals, gouaches, mixed media, photography, printmaking, printed digital art and 3-D, including pottery. They cast a wide net—save reproductions, which are not accepted, not even Giclée prints.

The entrance fee for “Images 11” is $25 for OAS members and $30 for non-members. That price covers the cost of entering up to three pieces—quite a bargain, considering there is a $300 pot for “Best In Show.” Submissions will be accepted at the Council of the Arts headquarters located in downtown Jacksonville. There are only two dates to submit: Sunday, September 25th, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, September 26th, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Alas, age restrictions do apply: The show is for artists 18 and over who are not attending high school. (However, please don’t drop out of school just to become eligible for the cash prizes.) To make up for the exemption, OAS holds a competition just for artistic middle- and high-school students later in the year.

“This is how it works,” Burke explains. “Artists drop off their pieces, wired, framed, ready to hang. Then our juror comes and picks the 50 or so best, and awards prizes to 10 or so of those selected. Then, we hold a reception on October 2nd, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Council for the Arts. That’s when people can come and see if they’ve won or if they were selected. And just to be selected is like winning in itself. It’s so competitive.”

Photographer Jon Derby, who has been submitting to “Images” for five years, agrees. “Sure, I’d like to win first prize and what not, but it feels pretty good to just get picked.” Aside, only once was Derby’s piece rejected because of content—a mixed-media collage he created that depicted his experience working at an orphanage in Vietnam.

“It cast war in a negative light,” he notes, though not an ounce of bitterness can be detected in his voice. “I guess that’s what you get in a military town.”
Derby finds OAS a friendly and encouraging society, one of the few dedicated to the arts in the Jacksonville area. In fact, their annual show receives over 400 pieces a year. “It’s really nice to have that kind of support,” he says. “They give you a feeling like you’re going in the right direction.”

The annual contest will be judged by Catherine Coulter Lloyd, a visual arts specialist at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences in Rocky Mount. She will travel to Jacksonville to view the work and make her selections. The prizes are dispersed on individual merit, with three grand prizes: Best In Show ($300), the Armstrong Endowment Award ($200), and the Onslow County Art Award ($100). There are also three Awards of Excellence ($75) and three Awards of Merit ($50).

Artists can submit to the Onslow Art Society’s “Images 11” and find information online at The show will be October 2nd at Bradford Baysden Gallery, located within the Council for the Arts, 826 New Bridge Street. Heavy hors d’ouevre will be served (my sources say Swedish meatballs and a melon basket is on the menu). The show will continue to run through October 28th during regular gallery hours.

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