The Carroll County Arts Council opened its 10th anniversary Members Art Show on Aug. 16. Featuring 156 pieces by 156 artists, the show is always a winner, according to Susan Williamson, visual arts coordinator for the Council.
"It's a real strong show," Williamson said. "This year's judges are amazed, for a non-juried show, how good it is."
Members had to be 18 years old to enter. Williamson estimates that at least 75 of the artists have been part of the show since its beginnings.
"There are traditional arts — paintings, photography and sculpture," she said of the show. "There are fibers, pottery, mixed media and digital."
Rod Boudreaux has entered pieces in the show for several years. This year's entry is a relief. Based on Picasso's "Three Musicians," the piece is made from an image the New Windsor resident created on his computer — then transferred to a relief by cutting corrugated poster board and gluing it together.
"It took awhile," Boudreaux said of the creation. "Other attempts were not quite so successful. It really is my first real piece of (this style)."
It won't be his last, however.
"The whole idea people seem to like," Boudreaux said. "I'm getting a lot of encouragement. I'll probably do more of them."
Part of the lure of the Carroll Arts Council show is the supportive and "hometown" feel of the arts community in Carroll. As a relatively new artist, Janice Bennett, from South Carroll, is pleased to be a part of that environment.
"The art community in this area, people are wonderful," she said. "They encourage each other and are great to work with. It is a terrific support for people interested in arts."
Bennett started painting with watercolors four years ago. She is now focusing on acrylic and oils.
"I took a photo of a secondary road and painted that recently," Bennett said of her entry. "I prefer still life and landscapes, nice country scenes."
"It's exciting to be hanging on the wall with instructors and people who have been painting a long time. Just to be on the wall with them," Bennett said. "It's fun to participate."
The show offers four cash prizes awarded, Williamson said, and there will be 12 ribbons awarded for artistic excellence. When the show ends on Oct. 6, a people's choice award will be announced.
While Williamson loves to have the gallery filled with artwork, she would love to see the walls of the Carroll Arts Council empty after every show, too. That's because most of the works are for sale.
"When you buy a work of art from an artist, you're buying a piece of their soul," Williamson. "It is something that is never a waste of money."
"I can't say enough or speak highly enough of the value of artists in a community," she added. "Everybody has artistic ability; not everybody has the calling."
The Carroll County Arts Council is celebrating its 10th annual Members Art Exhibit at the arts center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster. The works will be on view in the center's Tevis Gallery, Community Gallery and second floor halls from Aug. 16 to Oct. 6.
The center is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 410-848-7272 or go to http://www.CarrollCountyArtsCouncil.org.