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Monday, August 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center launches Inland Northwest Open Pastel Exhibition

UPDATED: Thu., July 23, 2020

The Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center is accepting artist submissions for the Inland Northwest Open Pastel Exhibition, its first juried show dedicated to pastel work.

The entry fee for up to two pieces per artist is $25, and the deadline for initial digital entries is Aug. 14.

After reopening in June for a small art show, director Darla Dreyer and the Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center board quickly decided to close down again until health and social distance guidelines allow otherwise.

“We can easily get something together, but people are nervous about gathering, understandably so,” Dreyer said. “We just take it a week or two at a time.”

Regular programming at the center is all but canceled. But the launch of the center’s Inland Northwest Open Pastel Exhibition, the first juried show dedicated to pastel work, is still on the schedule.

While the circumstances aren’t ideal, Dreyer said, this project is much more conducive to quarantine requirements because, until the final rounds of judging, a great deal of the show can be carried out online. Once the show is on display, the art center might open its doors for small groups of viewers on request, but opportunities will be limited.

When planning began in February, the center intended to offer workshops and classes in conjunction with the juried show, but the lack of indoor and outdoor space available to them has made both impracticable .

Artist submissions from all over the United States will be admitted until Aug. 14 with acceptances to be announced shortly after. The entry fee for up to two pieces per artist is $25; the fee will be waived for artists ages 18 and younger.

The juror panel include Judy Fairley, a signature member of “Women Artists of the West” for more than 40 years; Jerri Shrader, winner of the 2012 Nancy McLaughlin Award at the Celebration of Western & Wildlife Art Show; and Derek Kahler, a local art educator, practicing sculptural artist and member of the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission. Kahler previously served as board chair at the Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center for three years.

Local artist T Kurtz, a co-organizer for the event, works exclusively in soft pastels.

“What makes a piece of pastel art is the same thing that makes any artwork successful,” Kurtz said. “I do a lot of arts shows; if I can pull somebody off of their path – like they’re moving past my display and they glance and all of a sudden they stop in their tracks, change directions and come into my display to look at my work – I really feel like I have reached them on some level.”

There are technical skills like balance, composition, hue and weight that an artist has to keep in mind, she said.

“But, ultimately, you can have all the technical skills correct and still have a piece of art that doesn’t resonate with people.”

Kurtz participated in both weekends of the “Art on the Go” drive-by art show.

“That was marvelous because there again your artwork’s up in front of people – somebody’s driving by, and you hear the squeal of brakes. That’s pretty amazing.”

Without the litmus test of regularly witnessing the effect her work has on an audience, however, Kurtz has felt artistically stymied for the majority of the last few months.

“This COVID crisis has been really hard on a lot of artists because we cannot actually interact with the public and see how they’re responding to our art as we’re creating it,” she said. The prospect of entering an art show, albeit online, has a new level of attraction. “I really need that feedback.”

As the show is in its inaugural year, it might take time for it to gain steam, but the arts center is adamant about beginning now.

“We’re going to hold the show regardless of how big or small because we have to make a start somewhere, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Dreyer said.

“I believe art in every form uplifts us all. So at a time when we are feeling stressed or at a loss that anyway, either visually or by participating in the arts, it just uplifts us all. We want to encourage people to participate and to share because it’s in all our best interests to have creative outlets.”

For information on entering the competition, visit thejacklincenter.org.

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