2010-08-19 / Letters to the Editor

Great success with annual art show

Several months ago, I was asked to chair the Conanicut Island Art Association’s 36th Annual Art Show, recently held from August 11-15 at the rec center. I agreed despite being told by several that this was a difficult and time consuming project. In truth, however, the job was not too difficult.

Maybe this was so because I had such a good amount of fun doing it. But the more likely reason is because of all the volunteer help I had from CIAA members, who were cheerful, energetic, efficient, and unfailing and responded whenever I asked a favor. In particular I mention the fol- lowing: Tania Biddle, who handled all the electronic filing of membership and entry data as well coordinating much of the graphic and print tasks; Carol Gates, who supervised gallery sitter scheduling and sales; Maureen Rozes, who handled catering for the opening and oversaw the production of the many award certificates; Allie Sabalis, who supervised the art works’ intake procedure; Nancy French, who oversaw the hanging of the art works; Prim Bullock and Jim Buttrick, who placed the works for hanging; Donald Miller, Joe Vecchione, Peter French, and Gail Bolger who assisted in the hanging; Priscilla Foley and Mary Lou Harrison, who assisted in many organizational tasks; Pia Peterson, who designed the posters and postcards advertising the show, Kim Pinksaw and the folks from Bridges and Ed Holland who helped with the heavy lifting and transportation of the panels for hanging; CIAA President Ernie Savastano, who was always available to help out and provide answers to the many questions I had; the several individuals who manned the sales and intake desks; and the helpful staff at the rec center.

I am pleased to report that the show was an extremely successful event. While no one can accurately recall results over the span of 36 years, many organizers agree that this year’s show featured perhaps the highest individual participation at 71 artists, highest number of hanging pieces at 131, 12 fully stocked bins of artwork, and the highest sales. Moreover, this year marked the first year that membership was opened up to off-islanders, and as a result membership has swelled by several score.

Bill Heydt, the well known Newport watercolorist, and former Jamestowner, judged the entries and awarded first, second, and third prizes to Jillian Barber for her whimsical clay sculpture, Peter Diepenbrock for his intricate wood wall sculpture, and Didi Suydam for her moody portrait of the bow of the QE2, Jamestowners all. The People’s Choice award went to Charles Pollock of Warwick for his tightly organized and colorful naive oil painted seascape. The lively and well-attended opening featured Celtic harpist Mary King.

I am confident that I may speak for the entire CIAA when I look forward to a bigger show at the same time next year. There’s plenty of room for more. Thanks again to all....helpers, artists, and buyers.
Roger Birn
Chairman CIAA Art Show

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