Cortez creations!

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Pat Rauscher hangs a photograph on canvas at the Juried Art Show at the Cortez Cultural Center.

By Rachel Segura Journal staff writer

The looming possibility of shutting its doors has not deterred the Cortez Cultural Center from its usual day-to-day affairs. In fact, they are prepped and prepared for the 20th annual Juried Art Show, a favorite event of center volunteers and employees.

There are 66 pieces of art in the show this year, submitted by 33 local artists.

“Artists are just a different species from us,” said Pat Rauscher, office manager for the Cortez Cultural Center. “Every year they come up with something fresh. It’s amazing. It’s the usual suspects showcased, I say that, but you wouldn’t know it from year to year.”

There are three judged categories; two-dimensional, three-dimensional and photography. The artists range from professional to amateur and present a variety of art as well. Paintings, sketches, sculptures and photography are hung from the walls. Dave Sipe’s famous wood carvings are among the diverse entries.

Linda Rose, a volunteer with the cultural center, placed all of the artwork on Nov. 5., and it was opened for public viewing on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

“Some of the artists are new and some are pillars of the art community,” said Rauscher. “The show gets bigger every year.”

Local artists Marilyn Kroeker, Janet Chaney, Melissa McIntyre, Nancy Bush, John Mumaw and Rachel Beck are a few of the local artists being judged. Melody Nail, is a familiar face at the Cortez Farmers Market with her crafts and jewelry, and she has placed a copper brooch in the contest.

Rauscher was thoroughly impressed by all entries. There was only one abstract piece in the bunch and she considered it a brave entry.

“It speaks to me of the 1950s for some reason,” she said as she studied the painting. “It reminds me of my home growing up as a little girl.”

Whimsical work of fall colors, Native American roots, wild animals and nature are abundant. There is not a theme for the artwork entered but glancing at the pieces, it is easy to see a cohesive theme that sprouts from this Southwestern area. A few wildcards like seascapes and sailboats float around but the inspiration of the Four Corners is profoundly clear in these artistries.

The pieces will be judged by local artists, Karen Stapf-Harris and Keith Hutcheson. Hutcheson is also a retired art teacher. The winners will be announced on Friday, Nov. 9. Rausher said it is hard to find judges because most of our community artists want to put work in the contest.

“We have to ask them, are you going to submit or would you like to judge?” she said.

The open house reception for the winners will be held tomorrow from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served and a suggested donation of $5 is appreciated. The artwork will remain at the cultural center throughout the month of November with the ribbons placed on the winning pieces.

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