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Wallkill Center for the Arts Members Showcase & Teachers Exhibit

First Place goes to Mark Rosengarten, ribbon given by

Executive Director Sarah Fortner Pierson and Exec. Assistant Nick Riker

Story and Photos by

Edie Johnson

Executive Editor, Orange County Courier Journal

Montgomery - The Wallkill Center for the Arts Annual Showcase Exhibit had the Center filled with artists and enthusiasts on Saturday, Feb. 11. The excitement was palpable as attendees perused room after room and sampled the scrumptious appetizers generously brought by its supportive community. Each attendee, whether an official member or not, had an opportunity to vote on their favorite member work of art as well as those of teachers. But there were so many works, and all very eclectic, that it took hours to look, and chat with friends, and test the hors-d'oeuvres and then submit a top choice. Refreshments were served outdoors as well, though most preferred the warmth of both the historic building and friends indoors.

The growth of the Center over the past decade has been remarkable, with barely an inch currently open for display in most of the rooms, it's classes reaching a much larger and broader style both in terms of art media and styles that vary from traditional Hudson Valley oils and watercolors of country scenes, to a nearly lifesize oil of a muscled young man in a bikini.

Second Place i the Members Showcase went to Pat McDonald for "Being Followed"

Third Place was won by Ellen Joyce Trayer for "Mindtrip"

In the Teachers Exhibit: Mike Jarozko won First Place for his "Two Canada Geese, Lana Privitera won Second Place with Autumn Blooms, and Chnthia Harris Pagano received Third Place for "The Pierson Children"

The Center's Calendar of Events has also grown dramatically, with the Members & Teachers' Exhibits currently showing and "Mixed Media and Collage" coming for March and April. The broadly acclaimed non-profit venue

had a name change in October of last year from being "an art school and gallery" to a "Center for the Arts" to reflect its expansion as a public art gallery and community gathering place. Executive Director Sarah Fortner Pierson and Executive Assistant Nick Riker are 'hands on', dedicated and constantly working to have this Center reflect both the historic nature of the local art scene as a home of "Plein Air Painting" in the Hudson Valley and the dozens of new media across our region.

The Entry area and Members Gallery were busy places throughout the event.

From iconic traditional Orange County Scenery

To mesmerizing 'out there' acrylic

The Patchett House had something to offer everyone with a penchant for art.

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