The visual arts committee invites you to an artist’s reception for the Annual Juried Art Competition Exhibit, sponsored by Smackover State Bank, on July 21, from 6:00-7:30 pm. The awards presentation is scheduled at 6:30 pm. This exhibit will hang in the Price and Merkle Galleries through August 10 and is free and open to the public Monday- Fridays, 9:00-5:00pm.

The Juried Art Competition is SAAC’s annual competition juried by nationally recognized art professionals and is open to all artists across the nation, age 18 and up, who work in two- dimensional and three-dimensional fine arts media. One piece from the competition will be purchased for SAAC’s permanent art collection. The Annual Purchase Award is made possible through an endowment from the family of Wilma Riley in memory of her commitment to the arts, her community, and SAAC.

While attending the exhibit, cast your vote for The People’s Choice Award, the only award in the competition selected by the viewing public. During the reception, over $2000 in prize money will be presented by juror Kevin Haynie for best of show, first through third place, honorable mention and the purchase award.

Haynie, preparator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, selected 44 artists from around the country to have their artwork included in the exhibit. Many artists are from as far away as Connecticut, Wisconsin and Arizona, as well as eight artists from Arkansas and two from El Dorado. The local artists included in this exhibit are Spencer Purinton and Marla Tomlinson.

Born in El Dorado, Haynie studied art at both Henderson State University and the University of Arkansas and has a BFA in Studio Art. His art background includes working extensively with traditional media and non-traditional formats including digital, auditory, animation, and interactive works. Haynie leads gallery installations, cares for and maintains the permanent collection, and works to broaden the engagement of art within the community. He has used his knowledge and experience in art installation to enhance his own work and that of others in the art community. When not working as a preparator, he often travels to many of the nation’s art museums and galleries, anxious to see what is new in art communities, and often looking for newly discovered or unknown artists. He believes that one of the most exciting aspects to viewing art is the work that is done by those that don’t yet have a large audience.