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Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005 06:09 am

Thirty-four winners

Illinois artist invitational debuts at SAA

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Amanda Lampert, SAA curator of collections
PHOTO BY JOB CONGER

Springfield Art Association’s new exhibit of two-dimensional art, organized around the single theme of The Modern Landscape, represents a first for the organization: a show dedicated to Illinois artists.

Amanda Lampert, SAA’s curator of collections, credits former executive director Erika Fitzgerald with the idea. “She wasn’t here to see the exhibit through, but I think she’d be excited about the work we’ve received and the artists participating,” Lampert says.

The search for participants was not simply conducted through the university grapevine. “We advertised our call for submissions through Web sites that share this kind of information with a great variety of talent, in and out of academe,” Lampert says.

Invitations were sent at the end of May, and the entry deadline was July 5. Despite the tight time frame, some artists created work reflecting the theme, expressly for the exhibit. Lampert describes the exhibit as “a nice blend of realistic pieces and abstract pieces.”

To encourage entries, the SAA offered a $750 best-of-show award and $250 each to three honorable mentions. Successful exhibitors were juried in, selected from hundreds of submitted slides of works, by Jan DeLong and Kate Humphrey. Judges will present awards at a reception on Saturday.

The roster of 34 includes Springfield-area artists Bill Crook, Jeff Garland, Bob Gordon, Mike Miller, Ron Ackerman, Ginny Lee, Jim Edwards, Sue Scaife, Barbara Stevens, and Sharon Black.

Black, SAA’s education coordinator, notes that the exhibit also includes some “high-end” names from the north: “If you’re big in Chicago, you’re a national name, and we’re pleased to have them here.” Those names include C. Joel Beaman, Roland Kula, Brian Loftus, and Christine Olson of Chicago.

The Modern Landscape runs Sept. 3-Nov. 5 at Edwards Place, 700 N. Fourth St. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday.-Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. The opening reception and awards presentation will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3.

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