'The best of the best' Allied Artists of Johnstown spring show features colorful, diverse pieces

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May 12—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Art is in full bloom in this colorful and diverse collection of work.

The Spring Juried Exhibition of Allied Artists of Johnstown is on display through June 17 at Bottle Works, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

The show features 57 works by more than 40 artists from Cambria, Somerset, Indiana and Westmoreland counties, including paintings, photography, illustration, papier-maché sculpture, fiber art, ceramics, mixed media and digital art.

"There's a lot of really high-quality work," said Patrise Henkel, exhibit co-chairwoman. "We had over 100 artists submit, so there was a lot for the juror to work with. I've been exhibiting with this group for three years, and I'm seeing the quality going up with a range of many interesting media, so I'm really impressed with the work."

The show also attracted four new members, including amateurs, semiprofessionals and professionals who have work on display.

"It's important to have new people because we tend to have an older membership, so it's great to get younger people who have new energy and new ideas," Henkel said. "The organization needs that energy, and that's good for all of us."

Hannah Turpin, the assistant director of the art consulting firm Casey Droege Cultural Production, of Pittsburgh, served as juror.

She has curated multiple exhibits for the Carnegie Museum of Art and other Pittsburgh fine arts venues such as Space Gallery, Brew House Association and Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center.

Turpin earned a master's degree in art history from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts.

Henkel said Turpin was discerning with her picks.

"It yields for a beautiful show," she said.

Five works received awards from Allied Artists of Johnstown.

Winners include:

—"Equestrians #1," an acrylic and charcoal on paper, by Peter Calderwood, of Johnstown, received Best in Show.

—"Un-named," a PVC and riverstone piece by Norman Ed, of Johnstown, received first place.

—"#593," an acrylic on Plexiglas by Kenneth Cotlar, of Ebensburg, received second place.

—"Support LGBTQ Justice," an acrylic painting by Alan Rauch, of Johnstown, received an honorable mention.

—"Cowboys," a collage by Joy Fairbanks, of Blairsville, received an honorable mention.

"The awards that are given are encouraging and inspiring, and it's very gratifying to receive one," Henkel said.

Most of the pieces in the exhibition are available for purchase.

"There is some nice work to collect because of the variety," Henkel said. "We have expert photographers, a lot of good painters, and the mixed media and 3D work is new and interesting. We have a price range from $25 to $5,000."

She said viewers will experience the enthusiasm, passion and creativity of the community.

"There is quite a number of passionate people pursuing their craft and getting better every time around and finding their artistic groove," Henkel said. "There's a great energy around the arts community with creative people and creative projects."

To celebrate the exhibition, an opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at which award winners will be recognized and attendees will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists.

"It's so much fun for an art lover and collector to learn more about a piece and what the deeper meaning of it is and who the personality is behind it," Henkel said.

Refreshments will be served.

There is no fee to attend.

Matt Lamb, creative director of Bottle Works, said the spring show features incredible work.

"It was highly competitive, so what's on the walls is the best of the best," he said. "The talent in Johns-town is unprecedented, and for a small city, we have some very talented people. There's a wide variety of 2D and 3D artwork, so people will get a little experience of everything Johnstown has to offer as far as the arts go."

Allied Artists of Johnstown has more than 100 members of amateur, semiprofessional and professional status from around the region.

The group hosts three art exhibitions each year and offers scholarships to area students entering art fields.

There is no admission fee to attend the exhibition.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information about Allied Artists of Johnstown, visit www.johnstownart.com.