COFA overflows with art

"Blue Note," a pastel by Jackie Hixson, is among the works on display at the COFA juried art show.

Forty-six artists, amateur and professional, had their works accepted for judging and display at the 17th annual Community of Fine Arts, a juried art show presented by the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council. COFA is open for public viewing now through Aug. 27 at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, during library hours. The 119 original works are one of a kind and have not been previously exhibited in this show.

A "Meet the Artists" reception is planned on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., to provide an opportunity for the public to meet and speak with the people who created the works on display.

This year entries were accepted and judged in two divisions: Amateur/Semi Professional and Professional. The categories in each division are: Oil/Acrylics, Watercolor, Drawing/Pen & Ink, Charcoal/Pastel, Etchings, Wood Block Relief Prints and Photography. Artists whose works place first in each division/category receive $100, those who place second receive $50 and gift certificates are given to those who earn an Honorable Mention.

The three judges for the 2016 show are Stuart Pearl, Victoria Wagner and Cathy Welner.

Pearl, a Cleveland artist who has enthusiastically pursued photography since 1969, grew, up in a dynamic and creative environment surrounded by paintings of a bustling and vibrant city. His father, Moses Pearl, was an art teacher and landscape artist and every wall in their home was covered with his work.

Pearl’s strong connection to his hometown translates into his photographs of Cleveland’s skyline and industry. His work has been exhibited at the Erie, Zanesville and Butler museums as well as the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts and Dayton’s Rosewood Gallery. He received “Best In Show” in the 2008 Butler Midyear Exhibit and his work has been included in publications of the Cleveland Museum of Art. His city images have also been incorporated into design graphics of Cleveland’s new Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel. Pearl serves on the Board of Artists Archives of the Western Reserve and had exhibitions at Butler, the Metroparks and Intown Club.

Wagner, who has painted for over 50 years in several mediums including pastel, watercolor, acrylics and oils, is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and has attended Oil Painters of America (OPA) workshops in New Mexico, Colorado, and New York including two with OPA Master Painter Ron Riddick. She currently teaches classes at the Valley Arts Center in Chagrin Falls.

Her liturgical prints have raised money for several charities and have been hung in galleries and business offices in many countries around the world including Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The Oil Painters of America displayed Wagner’s work in two national competitions where they were awarded Best of Show and other honors in Ohio.         

Welner has been teaching watercolor since 1975 and is a member of the continuing education faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She has taught workshops nationally and internationally, including a workshop on Lake Como, Italy.

Welner’s work is featured in galleries in New York, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and Ohio. Her work hangs in hundreds of private and corporate collections. This Syracuse, New York, native, who now resides in Richfield, Ohio, received a degree in education from the State University of New York at Cortland. 

The mission of the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council is to bring art to the public in a non-commercial setting. With the cooperation of Porter Library, the Community of Fine Arts is free and open to all.

Louise Seeholzer

Publicist for Westlake-Westshore Arts Council

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 9:08 AM, 08.02.2016