CROSSLAKE -- The Crosslake Art Club's annual exhibit and sale promises to be bigger and better than ever, according to the group's publicity chair.
Now in its 17th year, the show opens Aug. 10 for a three-day run in the Crosslake Community Center.
"Our shows are getting bigger and better," said Mary Scholl of Crosslake, who handles the club's publicity and plans to exhibit about two dozen original works of her own this year.
"The painters are gaining experience as time goes by," she said, "and we are providing club members with workshops. This is another way of learning, and the more experience you have the better painter you become."
Scholl said about 35 of the club's 46 active members -- all females -- are expected to exhibit an estimated 500 original framed pieces, up slightly from last year's show.
If last year's turnout is any indication, the show will attract an estimated 2,000 visitors during the three-day event. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 10-11 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 12.
As usual, admission is free and refreshments will be served for a freewill offering.
Barb Thelan, a Crosslake watercolorist and the show's co-director with Diane Runberg, will demonstrate her techniques at 1 p.m. Aug. 10. Chris Smieja of Breezy Point, the club's president, will conduct a demonstration and lecture on abstract art in mixed media at 1 p.m. Aug. 11.
Other club members will set up their easels along the edges of the exhibit for "informal" demonstrations and one-on-one discussions of their techniques throughout the show, Scholl said.
"A lot of people like to watch the artists paint and sketch and it gives them a more one-on-one situation (than the formal demonstrations)," Scholl said. "It gives people a chance to see the process and ask questions about it.
"We started doing this several years ago and it's become very popular," Scholl added.
The informal demonstrations will be suspended during Thelan's and Smieja's presentations, Scholl said.
The exhibits in the Community Center's main room will include only original framed works completed over the past 12 months, Scholl said. Every painting and drawing medium will be represented.
Prints, cards and shrink-wrapped originals will be available in the "miscellaneous room" adjacent to the exhibit. Miniatures will be available for sale in a separate area of the exhibit.
Door prizes -- note cards, small-framed paintings, prints and other works donated by club members -- will be awarded each hour throughout the event, Scholl said.
Visitors are given a numbered ticket at the gate and winners are selected by hourly drawings but must be present to receive the prize.
Most of the pieces in the show will be for sale, ranging in price from a few dollars up to $500, with most in the $100 to $300 range, Scholl said. The club collects a 10 percent commission on all sales, which helps pay for the show's cost, about $500 this year.
Viewers will be asked to vote for a "people's choice award" each day, which acknowledges the exhibit's most popular painting or drawing. For the first time this year, the club will tally the sum of "people's choice" votes for the work in each artist's display, for an "artist of the day" award. Winners will receive a ribbon.
"The exhibit gives us a chance to show off our abilities," Scholl said, "and it's kind of fun to put on a show that demonstrates to the community the talent that exists here.
"I'm very proud of the shows we've had and each one seems to be bigger and better than the one before," she added. "We've learned from our past experience, and that goes into making the show better every year."
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