Local artists featured in BCAC exhibit

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

An annual ritual honoring some of the best artists Beaufort County has to offer is currently open to the public at the Washington Civic Center Gallery.
The Members’ Exhibit, hosted by the Beaufort County Arts Council, is on display through July 2, according to BCAC Executive Director Joey Toler.
“This show serves our artists’ community, which is part of our mission,” he said. “This creates opportunities for your working artists.”
The Members’ Exhibit is a long-standing event on the BCAC schedule. Among its supporters are Beaufort County government, the city of Washington, the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“It’s been an annual event for the past three or four years, but before that it was something we did occasionally, every couple years or so,” Toler said. “It’s open to all of our artist members to give them a chance to exhibit their work. For some of them, this is their only opportunity to be in a show.”
While some of the artists featured in the exhibit have established careers and are frequently included in shows across the state, others have more limited options.
“A lot of them are what I call amateur-professionals,” Toler said. “They do this and make money at it, but they still have their day jobs, too. A big segment of the artists out there are like that.”
Each artist included in the Members’ Exhibit is allowed to enter up to two pieces, Toler said. With this year’s show drawing 54 different artists, there are more than 100 pieces currently on display. Many, but not all, are available for purchase.
Among the mediums represented are oil, acrylics, watercolor, three-dimensional, fabrics, photography, ceramics, collage and graphic arts, Toler said.
The Members’ Exhibit is just the first in what promises to be a busy second half of 2009.
The second annual BCAC Juried Photography Show is slated to open July 23 and run through Aug. 27. The Arts Council welcomes a new “Best in Show” award sponsor, Stewart’s Jewelry Store.
And in late summer, the Arts Council will host its first graphic arts exhibit, Toler said. Joining BCAC for that event will be East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.
The Washington Civic Center Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Since the facility is sometimes closed for private functions, call 252-946-2504 to verify hours.