Beginning tonight, Cooperstown’s Fenimore Art Museum will feature its first exhibit of community art, organizers said Thursday.
Carol Mandigo, prevention specialist at The LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions, said she’s “really excited” to be part of the museum’s first community art show.
“This is a new direction for them to involve the community in one of their exhibits,” Mandigo said. “It’s a big change.”
A reception will be held tonight from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the display of art from LEAF’s most recent Art and Poetry Contest. The art will be on display in the Clark Gallery Alcove at the Fenimore until May 30.
Tonight’s reception will feature readings of poetry that was entered in LEAF’s contest, refreshments and live acoustic music by Tom Wetmore on bass and Barbara Nark on fiddle. The reception is free to the public.
The theme of LEAF’s 4th Annual Arts and Poetry contest was ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and was based on the classic 1946 film of the same name that depicts “how one man’s contributions can lead an entire community toward the darkness or toward the light,” a media release for the contest said.
The artists and poets were asked to enter work that explores overcoming obstacles to find the joy and beauty in life, the release said. In honor of the film, all submitted art was in black-and-white.
Art from more than 50 Otsego County artists will be displayed at the Fenimore exhibit, Mandigo said. LEAF artists and poets range from award-winning professionals to youth and community members who are passionate about the theme but have never entered a contest or had their work shown in a gallery before, she said.
“The artists range in age from 8 to 85,” Mandigo said. “And they come from every socioeconomic bracket. For their art to be displayed in a museum of this quality, and for entry to the reception itself to be free of charge, that’s a big deal. It’s so generous and kind of the museum to give us this opportunity.”