Peninsula Art League’s 11th annual Juried Open Art Exhibition will move to the Harbor History Museum this year.
Exhibit artist Pat Meras said merging art and history is working well.
“It’s a perfect marriage,” Meras said.
“Supporting the local art community is an important responsibility for our organization,” said Ted Smith, executive director of the museum. “We are thrilled to host this great event.”
The event previously has been held at the Gig Harbor Civic Center. One benefit of having it at the museum is that it’s open for longer hours, said Jo Ann Sullivan, president of the Peninsula Art League. The civic center is closed on evenings and weekends.
“Access for the public was more limited,” Sullivan said.
The museum also offers a larger venue in a gallery setting. The space accommodates for more paintings, allowing the exhibit to show almost 50 percent more pieces than the previous year.
“The museum is a beautiful venue,” event co-chair Karen Wilsey said.
The exhibit will open at the museum on Friday and run through Oct. 5. A reception open to the public will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. A number of featured artists will be at the reception to discuss their work.
There will be docent tours through the exhibit from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 19. Museum admission is required to view the exhibit. Admission will only be free on the night of the reception, Sullivan said.
The event is an open exhibit to artists from around the country. Artists submitted work through an online facility. More than 300 pieces were submitted, about 50 more than last year, event co-chair Shelia Anderson said.
Then juror, Joe Garcia, picked 155 pieces to be featured in the exhibit. Due to withdraws and disqualifications, 120 paintings and 30 photos made by 92 artists and photographers will be part of the exhibit, Wilsey said.
There is no theme to the exhibit; rather, it was open to artists’ creativity.
“Theme is limiting,” Sullivan said.
The juror is picked by the planning committee a year in advance, Sullivan said. Garcia, a watercolorist from California, taught a workshop this week at the museum. He also chose award winners.
There will be 14 sponsor awards, some chosen by Garcia and some chosen by the sponsor. Peninsula Art League will give four awards, all chosen by Garcia. A total of $4,350 in cash and $1,300 in certificate prizes will be given away.
The Peninsula Art League is 30 years old and started as a small group. It now has more than 200 members.
“It’s just grown from day one,” Sullivan said.
The Peninsula Art League meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Meetings are open to the public at the United Methodist Church. A social hour starts at 5:30 p.m., and meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.
The Peninsula Art League, a volunteer-run organization, gives a variety of scholarships to high school students who continue in the field after they graduate. It also has a scholarship for members who have volunteered who wish to continue their art education.
“Every event happens by volunteers,” Sullivan said. “They put in hours, hours and hours.”