CLINTON — Kirkland Art Center, 9 1/2 E. Park Row, will host the opening of the “Just Add Water 4” exhibition, in collaboration with Golden Artist Colors, from 7-9 p.m. Friday, July 13.
There will be a preview party prior to the opening, from 6-7 p.m., at a cost of $10.
“The Kirkland Art Center is excited to present our fourth year of Just Add Water in collaboration with Golden Artist Colors of New Berlin” in Chenango County, said KAC Marketing Director Timothy Rand. “The exhibition features over 100 works by 55 artists from all corners of the Mohawk Valley, Syracuse, the North Country and more.”
Each artist received a donated Golden Artist Colors QoR watercolor palette and a four inch square of watercolor paper. The rest was up to their own creativity.
Friday’s pre-party is free to the area artists who participated or for $10 to anyone who would like to get a sneak peak at the paintings.
Each piece will be on sale for $20, and proceeds will support the KAC’s mission of educating children and adults in the community to advocate for artists and the arts, as well as a wide range of cultural experiences and performances, Rand said.
“Just Add Water is the most fun art project in the region,” beamed Elizabeth Tantillo, the KAC’s interim executive director. “The opening reception promises to be a lively evening of art appreciation, jazz standards, and friendly conversations. And where else can you get a mini masterpiece at a mini price?”
In 2014, the KAC’s then Executive Director John Gardner collaborated with Golden Artist Colors for the first Just Add Water, which featured more than 200 works by artists from 11 states and three countries. Golden Artist Color’s brand new line of vibrant watercolors, called QoR, hit the market that year and the partnership worked in everyone’s favor, Rand said.
“Golden got to introduce their new line of watercolors to an enthusiastic local art community and the KAC had an exciting new fund-raiser,” he said.
One of the highlights of the show is that all of the artwork is anonymous until after the works are taken down at the end of the show.
“People are excited to see if they can guess who each piece was painted by,” Rand said. “We’ve had people from all walks of life participate, from artists to executives, ages teen to 98, and there really is something for everyone.”
This year’s exhibit features vivid sunsets, delicate flowers and zany abstracts, from an Icelandic ship resting in a harbor to a juicy watermelon.
“We’ve added a few new things for this year’s show,” said Rand. “Every year we get such beautiful submissions and occasionally we’ve got some leftovers, so I decided it would be great to recycle them and create something new.”
Just Add Water cubes were created using pieces from last year’s exhibit.
“The cubes are themed with some all about birds, some based on a specific artist and some with all flowers,” he said. The cubes will also be for sale.
Sarah Burns, a 2012 graduate of the University of the Arts, and Clinton native, will be this year’s Just Add Water judge. A production artist at Golden Artist Colors since 2014, Burns is also an avid artist and illustrator. Her task was to pick three winners including Best in Show and two Honorable Mentions. Picking the winners was not easy, Burns said, but in the end she based her picks on technical skill, execution and which pieces spoke to her.
This year’s Best in Show prize goes to Ron Rakowsky of Whitesboro, with a piece titled, “Bridge.”
“His simple use of shape and color pop with an economic use of ink in a distinctly happy summer scene,” Rand described.
Awards will be presented at the Opening Reception. The Honorable Mention prizes go to Gail Mosher of Clinton with “Summer Bouquet” and Mary Gaylord Loy of Clinton with her piece titled, “The Smokers.”
Just Add Water will be on display in the KAC Main Gallery through Friday, Aug. 3.
The arts center hosts eight exhibitions annually including group, juried and solo shows. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or by appointment.