Each winter, as people retreat onto their cozy couches to binge on Netflix or obsess over a new book, local artists begin pollinating their imaginations in preparation of a spring awakening. Specifically, Wilmington Art Association’s Juried Spring Art Show and Sale takes place annually during the same weekend as Azalea Festival (April 6-10) and will receive 200 to 300 pieces of artwork to consider for exhibit. Wilmington Art Association (WAA) is going into year 34 of presenting a multitude of talent representative of our prolific arts community.
Though the art varies in 2D and 3D work—from oil to pastels, watercolors to acrylics, pen-and-ink drawings to photography, to woodwork, ceramics, fabric art, glass work and more—WAA president Liz Hosier tells encore the show isn’t a direct reflection of the NC Azalea Festival, per se. “Each piece is unique and up to the artist to create their most creative artwork,” she explains. “Over the past several years, we have seen the artwork become much more varied both in medium and subject.”
The event, which will take place April 8-10, at the Hannah Block Community Arts Center, 120 Second Street. The show and sale is juried, and for 2016 artist and educator Chad Smith will be the judge. Galleries from New York to Colorado represent the plein-air artist, and he’s shown in national juried exhibitions, who has won Best in Show at the Finger Lakes Plein Air and Award of Distinction at the American Impressionist Society’s Annual National Juried Exhibition.
“The show chair selects the juror,” Hosier says. “Our goal is to have someone who is nationally recognized as an artist with experience in juroring/judging and is able to juror both 2D and 3D to include photography.”
Registration is open for artists through Feb. 29. Most of the submissions come from folks residing in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties. Yet, WAA doesn’t restrict artists only to local areas; it’s open to anyone over the age of 18.
“We do require that all work be hand delivered,” Hosier clarifies. “Each entrant may submit two entries, 2D, 3D or one of each. We will not know how many we will accept until we have all the entries submitted.”
They are expecting around 150 or 200 folks to apply for the 2016 show and sale. Though they see mostly paintings in oils, watercolors and acrylics, Hosier hopes to expand with the addition of 3D work last year. “I would love to see more 3D and photography,” she says. “I would also like to see encaustic work.”
Any artist interested in registration can apply online. WAA will post accepted entries on March 22, and all work must be hand-delivered on April 4. The fee to enter is $35 for WAA members or $45 for nonmembers. The fees cover event costs and prizes. The show and sale pays out around $4,000, which includes first through third places, as well as a people’s choice, donor awards and memorial awards.
“Any profit from the event goes to support scholarships, which WAA gives each year to one UNCW and one Cape Fear Community College student in the arts,” Hosier says. “Each student receives $1,000.”
The arts organization does student outreach, too, and hosts varied shows for youth throughout the year. They hold a high-school student art competition in conjunction with the Orange Street Arts Fest every Memorial Day weekend. Area high schools choose their students’ best works to enter into the competition at the Hannah Block Community Arts Center.
A nonprofit organization, WAA strives toward educating adult members and the public in the fine arts as well. They encourage emerging and professional artists by hosting monthly meet-and-greets and networking opportunities. The next social hour will be held Mar. 2 at 6 p.m. As well their monthly meetings feature talks from local artists, with the next one scheduled for Mar. 11 at 6:30 p.m. It will focus on local business owner Kelly Starbuck of S.A.L.T. Studio Photography, who will speak about her experiences as a career photographer.
For more information about WAA or to apply to enter the 34th Annual Juried Art Show and Sale, visit them online at www.wilmingtonart.org.