Council seeks artists for exhibit

PIQUA — Art comes in various shapes and sizes, as evidenced by Piqua Arts Council’s annual art fundraisers. Whereas last year’s entries were painted on playing cards, this year’s works will be a bit larger.

Paired with the Annual Piqua Fine Art Exhibit in September, the ‘4 by 6’ fundraiser will feature pieces measuring four by six inches which will be auctioned off online, according to Jordan Knepper, executive director of Piqua Arts Council.

“(The theme) ‘4 by 6’ is really just an expansion of the ‘Full Deck’ Fundraiser from last year. It went great, but I thought we could do more,” Knepper said. “With the size change, we’ll be able bill this as an introduction to collecting original artwork and/or expanding your original artwork collection.

“I haven’t seen this done before, and I’m hoping its a success. We have some very charitable artists involved already and should see some amazing works turned in.”

Now in its 23rd year, the Piqua Fine Art Exhibit has expanded in terms of talent and overall quality, Knepper noted.

“One way we’re trying to continue to attract new artists is by having a great pool of prize money,” he said, explaning that this year’s monetary award has been increased by more than $1,000, plus several hundred more in memorial awards.

That means more than $3,000 will be awarded in six categories: drawing; oil and acrylic paintings; watercolor paintings; photography; three-dimensional works; and a miscellaneous category.

In addition, the show will once again have the Library Purchase Awards, in which selected works will be purchased and put on display by the Piqua Public Library. Other awards will include the Kathy Oda Memorial Award, a special award for black-and-white photography; the Michelle Award given to the best painted portrait of a child; the Ceramics Award for the best ceramic work; and the Outstanding Piqua Artist Award given to the top Piqua artist.

Piqua Arts Council also invites business and community leaders to preview the exhibit and select works of art to be given honorable mentions in the name of their business.

“The Annual Piqua Fine Art Exhibit is a great way for us to showcase the talented artists in the region and we do our best to make sure we’re seeking out new artists every year,” said Knepper.

The ‘4 by 6’ fundraiser will attempt to highlight the artists and help people get started collecting art, said Knepper, who feels that once people get started with smaller pieces, t they will begin to follow their favorite artists and collect similar works by other artists as well.

“Building an art collection can be interesting. There are lots of different approaches to collecting art. I started with a certain subject matter and once I finished one area of the house, I moved onto a different area of the house and a different subject matter,” Knepper said.

He explained that in his own home, he uses the color of the works to tie his collection together and doesn’t limit himself to one medium. “I have photos and paintings … along with blown glass. I try to stay unified in subject matter at least by room and let each room take on a different feel,” he said.

More information about the 23rd Annual Piqua Fine Art Show, the ‘4 by 6’ fundraiser and the Piqua Arts Council can be obtained by visiting or calling (937) 773-9630.