MUSCATINE, Iowa–In 2019, the Muscatine County Arts Council brought something new to the area, an opportunity for local artists to exhibit their work at the Muscatine Art Center as part of a juried show. Well received by the community, the first Art Array gained much positive attention, even though the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted it. Now, the Muscatine County Arts Council looks forward to inviting artists to take another opportunity to showcase their work at Art Array-21.
In its first year, Art Array received 26 entries and displayed the work of 10 regional artists. Though some of the celebrations surrounding the event had to move to an alternate format due to the pandemic, Muscatine County Arts Council member Ed Chamberlin felt satisfied with the number of participants that got involved. He said. “with all that was happening with COVID-19, we feel it was a good turnout.” He elaborated: “The work that was submitted was stellar. We had planned on a nice reception and with the closing of the museum and Art Center it could not take place. We did have a virtual reception exhibition however.”
This year, the Arts Council looks to attract even more area artists to showcase their unique creations. Any artist who lives within 50 miles of Muscatine may submit up to two pieces for consideration for Art Array-21. Artists may submit works in any medium they like. “All forms are welcome,” stressed Chamberlin. “Last year, there were portraits, wildlife, and various form of abstract art.” The Arts Council must receive all submissions, along with a $25 entry fee for each, by Jan. 31, 2021 in order to consider them for inclusion in the final show.
After the Arts Council receives this year’s submissions, a panel of judges from the Figge Art Museum in Davenport will evaluate them, make their selections for the exhibit, and award prizes to the top three entries. Art Array-21’s first place winner will receive a $500 grand prize, with second and third place earning $300 and $200 respectively.
From March 18 through June 30, 2021, the selected pieces will go on display at the Muscatine Art Center for all interested museum patrons to peruse. A special opening day celebration March 18, 2021 will also give the Arts Council and interested members of the public an opportunity to meet the artists and learn about their works in person.
Chamberlin anticipates Art Array-21 sharing the success of the first show, and hopes many area residents will enter this show or take the time to come out and see it in person once it opens. “To have an exhibition like this in our community is quite an accomplishment, he stressed. “The Art Center is the perfect place to showcase local artists.”
If you would like to learn more about Art Array-21 or submit works of your own, Chamberlin encourages you to contact the Muscatine County Arts Council. You may visit their website or call them at 563-263-8282.