The Greater Napanee and Area Arts Association celebrates 10 year anniversary with juried art show ‘Coming Home’

The Museum of Lennox and Addington. Photo via Greater Napanee & Area Arts Association.

From Wednesday, May 1 to Saturday, May 25, 2024, the Museum of Lennox and Addington is hosting the sixth Greater Napanee and Area Arts Association (GNAAA) juried art show, with the theme ‘Coming Home.’ This special art show marks the 10th anniversary of GNAAA, with a coming home to Napanee, as the show hasn’t been held there since 2019.

“I’ve always considered the museum to be the cultural hub of Napanee,” says Diane Phaneuf, co-chair of the juried art show.

“We were so excited when JoAnne Himmelman, the curator of the museum, said, ‘Why don’t you do the show here in May?’… Our publicist, Lisa Ray Koenig, came up with the name because it’s like coming home to Napanee after a while away. We were excited by the fact that it was the 10th anniversary of the organization; it made it just that much more special.”

The GNAAA is a not-for-profit and completely volunteer-run organization. It is open to visual artists of all levels, including students. The association has steadily grown throughout its 10 years and now has over 75 members.

The two jurors for this year’s art show are local artists Nancy Steele and Chantal Leblanc from Wolfe Island Gallery and Arts and Life Circle respectively.

“This is one of the features of our juried art show,” Phaneuf says. “We’re not just trying to get artists to submit good paintings that will make a good show; we also want to offer them the opportunity to get feedback from qualified people like Nancy Steele and Chantal Leblanc.”

Phaneuf mentions that the art show is a standard for members of the GNAAA, helping to elevate the level of professionalism and providing an opportunity for the community to experience the art as well.

The awards reception took place on the evening of Thursday, May 2, 2024, at the Museum of Lennox and Addington. It was hosted by Elaine Taranu, co-founder and inaugural president of GNAAA.

First prize went to Helen Anderson for her painting The Heavy Wait. Phaneuf mentions that as the two jurors were looking around at the pieces in the show, they both stopped in front of Anderson’s painting and said, “This is the one”.

Quoting Chantal Leblanc, Phaneuf says, “‘The composition makes you want to wander around the bend… The picture tells of loneliness, of waiting at the end of the day, coming home.'”

Phaneuf adds, “So she found it very evocative in that way. I must say it’s true. If you stand there and gaze at it for a while, you can see that this is a coming home. But it’s not a coming home to joy. It’s a coming home to: Will they accept me? Will I be welcome home?”

The Heavy Wait by Helen Anderson won first prize at the 6th GNAAA juried art show. Photo via Diane Phaneuf.

Second prize went to Tania Craan for her painting The Promise of What Can Become, and third prize went to Stacey Robb for her painting Storm Over a Summer Field. Honourable mentions went to Helen Anderson, Gerry Hogaboam, Janice Hindley, Jeanne Hudson, and T. Michael Normile.

The exhibit runs through Saturday, May 25, 2024. For more information about the GNAAA and the juried art show, visit the Greater Napanee and Area Arts Association website.

The Museum of Lennox and Addington is located at 97 Thomas Street East in Napanee, and its hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 per person, and children under 12 get in free.

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