There’s still time to submit art to the Memorial Art Show

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, May 14, 2022

There’s still time to enter art into the upcoming Memorial Art Show in Valley, but not much, according to Suzie Britt, president of the Valley Arts Council, which is in charge of the show. Only the artwork of deceased artists will be featured. The artists must be from West Point, Chambers County and possibly surrounding rural areas if they lived close enough.

Those who want to enter the artwork of their loved ones have until Friday, May 20 at 5 p.m. EDT to submit photos of the artists’ work, biographies of the artists and photos of the artists. Britt said the information should be sent as soon as possible.

“We’re having a booklet printed up for the show, and those are the things we need as soon as possible in order to get to the printers in time,” Britt said. “We’ll still need those items for the show, too. But for the show, we will need their actual artwork.”

Britt said a family member or friend of an artist whose work will be featured at the show should come to the community center on Friday, June 10 to set up their display between the hours of 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

“We provide everything that is going to be needed,” Britt said. “We’ve got tables and chairs, we’ve got easels, and we’ve got art display panels. But they will need to, of course, supply their decorations for their loved ones’ displays.”

Britt said family members and friends of artists don’t have to stay at the art show all weekend and that the Valley Arts Council will be there the entire time on both days.

“And of course, the Valley Community Center has an excellent security system, so their items will be perfectly safe,” Britt said.

So far, 44 entries have been submitted for the show.

“We’ve got some artists that date back 100 years,” Britt said. “And a lot of these artists didn’t even think of themselves as artists. They were fine craftspeople. They may have made baskets or quilts or carvings and woodwork and doll-making… The art is very broad. They don’t have to have been a painter to be an artist, and they can be beginners. A lot of the artists that we’re going to have in this show were never in a show before. They may only have one or two pieces of art. But they still are a part of our history in this area.”

Britt said the Valley Arts Council is having a difficult time locating the loved ones of certain local artists whose works it would like to feature in the art show.

“We had a famous photographer in this area named Harold Smith, and I cannot find any of his family …” Britt said. “He’s one of them that we just cannot track down … He was a famous photographer here for generations.”

Another artist whose family the arts council is trying to track down is Leonard Hardy, a cartoonist, illustrator and fine art painter.

“He worked for the Coca-Cola company,” Britt said. “He was a fine artist. But later in his life, he did a cartoon series for The Valley Times.”

Another artist the Valley Arts Council wants to feature is Annie Lee Yates, a fiber artist.

Finally, the Valley Arts Council is looking for loved ones of Jim Longshore, who created watercolor and acrylic paintings. Britt said he taught out of his home.

The Memorial Art Show will be held on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 at the Valley Community Center gym at 130 Sportsplex Drive in Valley. On Saturday, the show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. On Sunday, it will run from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Britt can be reached by calling (334) 333-7073, by emailing suziebritt@knology.net and by messaging her or the Valley Arts Council page on Facebook.