Mitchell Bryant doesn’t know why his entry won Best of Show in the Janice Mason Art Museum’s Biennial Juried Show 2020.
“It was probably different than most of the things down there,” said Bryant, a Cadiz resident and retired art teacher who entered three pieces in this year’s show including the overall winning piece that was titled simply “2020 #2.”
The collage featured various materials used by Bryant to create a piece of art, and the show’s juror, Paducah artist Juanita Neal Gilliam, said the composition was impressive.
“It was just outstanding just on first appearance, and it was very eye-catching,” she said of the mixed media entry submitted by Bryant. “I think you could hang that piece on any of its sides, and it could still be a very interesting piece of art.”
Gilliam also pointed to the entry capturing a first place among oil paintings, Kathryn Harper’s “Odetta,” which featured a dog and was very impressive in its detail, according to the juror.
Gilliam visited the museum on Oct. 8 to judge 77 entries from 33 artists in Cadiz, Murray, Hopkinsville, Clarksville and Indiana.
In addition to oil and mixed media, categories included ceramics, watercolor, crafts, photography, digital photography, pastel and acrylic.
Gilliam said she was impressed with the quality of the work and the number of submissions, given the size of the local museum. Additionally, she said she thought it was good that people loved their craft enough to submit entries in the midst of the virus even though the event isn’t a normal showing.
“In spite of that, they wanted to show their work,” Gilliam noted of continued struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.
She said she believes it’s well worth a trip to the museum to see the 2020 show. With such a variety of entries, she noted that there is something that will appeal to everyone.
Museum Executive Director Joan Demers said a reception for the show that had been planned for Oct. 16 was canceled. But the pieces will remain on display through Nov. 28, and visitors may see the artists’ work during normal museum hours.
The museum in downtown Cadiz is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
No more than 10 people are permitted at a time.
Demers said this year’s show went really well. It featured a good percentage of artists from Cadiz and Trigg County, and the director said there were some really nice pieces submitted.
Several people had never entered a juried show before.
Demers noted that the museum will be preparing next for its Festival of Trees display which will feature trees decorated in the museum by different organizations and individuals.
She said the display usually includes 35 to 40 trees.
Normally opening the day of the Christmas parade, this year’s trees will be available to the public during the museum’s regular hours beginning the Tuesday after the parade.
The parade is on the first Saturday in December.
The trees will remain until the first of the year, and people are again restricted to visiting no more than 10 at a time.
Demers added that the museum will start working soon on its next juried show, which is slated to take place in 2022.
Sponsors for the 2020 show were the Waldrop family of Cadiz, Eunice Stone of Lakeland Realty and Patrick Dawson of Edward Jones Investments.