New fund-raising exhibit also to benefit artists

Organizers of a new juried art exhibit not only hope to benefit a community agency but also hope to promote sales of local artworks.

"Lawrence Own-Your-Own" will be displayed from Sept. 29 to Oct. 7 at Fields Gallery, 712 Mass. The exhibit, organized by the Lawrence Committee for the Advancement of Visual Artists, will raise money for the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.

Submissions of artwork � there is no entry fee � will be accepted through July 1.

"The jurors are charged with selecting 50 artists, three to five pieces from each artist, with the focus of selecting a diversity of style, media and price," said Diana Dunkley, a Lawrence artist and LCAVA member.

Jurors are Maureen Korp, of Ottawa, Canada, author of "Sacred Art of the Earth"; Margo Kren, Kansas State University art professor; and Mary Kennedy McCabe, director of ExhibitsUSA for Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, Mo.

The idea for the exhibit came from Lawrence art collectors Lee and Darcy Gerhard, who were introduced to a similar show while living in Colorado, said Lawrence artist and LCAVA member Judi Kellas.

"Lawrence has grown so much and I think people would be astonished to know there are over 750 visual artists here," Kellas said. "We really want this to succeed. It will be a yearly show, if all goes well."

The exhibit's goals are to foster sales of area artists' works; encourage residents to learn more about art and to purchase art for their homes and businesses; and provide a donation to Bert Nash.

Dunkley said artists will receive 100 percent of the price paid for their work, but will be required to donate 20 percent to Bert Nash.

Other rules include:

� Artists can submit up to five slides of their artwork.

� Artwork can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional, but must be original.

� Two-dimensional artwork must be framed and ready to hang; three-dimensional artwork must be ready for presentation.

� Artwork must be of a size and weight that one person can lift and set up for display.

� All work must be for sale.

Several awards will be available: Best of Show will receive $500; second place, $200; third place, $100; and honorable mentions, $50.

"We already have $2,000 in purchase awards," Dunkley added. "We hope to have $5,000 to $10,000."

The exhibit also will be educational, with three programs planned for Sept. 30, she said. Darcy Gerhard will describe how she and her husband started collecting. Korp will talk about how collecting art is like falling in love, and Phil Bohlander, Lawrence, will discuss how middle- to low-income people can collect art.

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