By Valerie Baldowski
A group of local artists is ushering in the holiday season by taking part in a competition to showcase their creations.
The Visual Artists Collective of Henry County (VAC) kicks off its "Christmas With the Arts" program today. Pieces by artists age 18 and up are on display at the Henry County Performing Arts Center, at 37 Lemon St. in McDonough, through Dec. 15, said Carolyn Fuller, a member of the Henry Arts Alliance board of directors.
Fuller, who is also the director of the Henry County Library System, said the Visual Artists Collective is a member of the Henry Arts Alliance.
"It is one of our group's largest annual exhibits," said Amy Lockett, a VAC member, and one of the participating artists in the show.
"This event allows the community to see some of the art of artists around Henry County, including both two-dimensional fine art, photography, painting, etc., and three-dimensional, sculpture, glasswork, etc.," she said. "It is an opportunity for local artists to show their work and to be appreciated by the local community."
Lockett, an acrylic and watercolor painter involved with the contest, said about 25 artists were expected to participate. Other artists participating include Lynn McMeans, a photographer and painter; oil painters Rosalind Webb and Marie Hamby; Mary Anne Maslanka, a stained glass artist; and Ray Salvatore, a three-dimensional artist and photographer.
The Visual Artists Collective of Henry County will give over $600 in prizes for the event.
Henry Arts Alliance board member Carolyn Fuller said the categories for the contest will include Best of Show, first, second and third place, plus two Honorable Mentions. The prizes are $200 for Best of Show, $150 for first place, $100 for second place, $75 for third place, and $50 for each Honorable Mention winner.
The judge for the competition is Fran Raindance Hampton, an owner of Hampton Fine Art Gallery in Greensboro, Ga. Judging was expected to take place today, said Lockett.
Artists paid a $10 entry fee to participate in the art exhibit, and Fuller said the money will go into the Visual Artists Collective general fund, for cash prizes for future judged arts competitions.