Pieces take top honors at ‘Size Matters’ at Stella’s Art Gallery

Fairies are whimsical creatures that inhabit our imaginations and create playful scenarios in our minds. Fantasy, especially for children, is important for several reasons. It encourages creativity, strengthens vocabulary, fosters boundary-pushing problem-solving skills and, of course, the obvious escape from reality. Which in turn improves our mental health.

We all need a bit of fantasy and escapism from today’s world once in a while. Creative play helps energize our mind and spirit, making us better able to deal with the harsh realities we all face at some point.

Why am I writing about fairies today? Because you might consider joining me in the Fairy Condo Art Project to build houses for these little ones. The project is sponsored by the Mentor Community Arts Commission and the Wildwood Cultural Center.

It has come to my attention that the fairies who reside at the Wildwood Cultural Center, 7645 Little Mountain Road, Mentor, have left a message for the Mentor Community Arts Commission requesting additional summer housing for their visiting fairy friends. But they need your creative help to make it happen.

A birdhouse-style fairytale condo seemed like the best way for the little travelers to find a place to rest, after all, they prefer to fly when they travel. Children and adults are invited to participate in the artistic project by creating temporary decorative “fairy-house” style condos. They will be displayed on the grounds of the Wildwood Cultural Center until the fall, when they will be returned to their creators with the deep gratitude of the visiting fairies.

Participation is free, but you must register with Wildwood to participate. Undecorated birdhouses are available for $10, or you can make your own. Plan to deliver your magical condo between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. or between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on July 22.

An open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on August 10 will celebrate the fairy project with refreshments, prizes and a drawing.

For more information, to register or purchase a Fairy Condo, call 440-974-5735, email wildwood@cityofmentor.com or visit the beautiful park in person.

Stella’s Art Gallery

“Size Matters”, which focuses on large, medium and small works of art, is open at Stella’s Art Gallery, 38033 Euclid Ave., Willoughby, until the end of the month.

Congratulations to Kit Palencar, winner of the Best in Show award.

The offshore winners are Patrick Martin, first; Kit Palencar, second; and Tricia Kaman, third.

The Medium winners are Patricia Meyer, first place; H. Maria Armijo, second place; and Douglas Manry, third.

The winners in Small are Kelly Chiovetti, first place; Karen Jewell-Kett; second place; and yours truly, third place. (My piece’s name is “Bobbit”. Use your imagination or stop to take a look.)

The show was judged by James Jones, an artist and teacher from Ashtabula. He directed university galleries, painted and sculpted. In fact, his work was recently included in SOFA Chicago (Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design) at Navy Pier.

He was quite demanding on the entries for the “Size Matters” show, eliminating half of the works presented. He shared comments on some specific artwork in his juror statement and wrote: “As a juror it is a pleasure to see such a variety of high quality artwork, created by artists with an individual vision.”

I was very honored to be included and to have won an award.

The call for art inspired by northeast Ohio is officially open. The sixth annual “Northeast Ohio Show” welcomes all mediums and asks for a statement on how Northeast Ohio inspired you to create your work. The categories are culture, such as food, music and/or people, architecture; Lake Erie; Ground; and Fauna.

Registrations will be accepted from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on August 4 and 5 and from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on August 6. There will be an awards reception from 7-9 p.m. on August 12. .

For more information, visit stellasartgallery.com or call 440-266-9111.

Valley Art Center

Valley Art Center, 155 Bell St. Chagrin Falls, opens the surreal new exhibit “Where Are We? with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 16.

ACC is looking for its next full-time Assistant Director and Gallery Manager. For more information about this exhibit, the work, or to participate in an exhibit, call 440-247-7507 or visit valleyart.org. The next call for entries will open on August 1 and will be for their 51st “Juried Art Exhibition”.

Gallery at Lakeland

“Queer Pulse…The Ripple Effect”, the next exhibition at the Gallery at Lakeland, 7700 Clocktower, Kirtland, will run from July 24 to September 9. There will be an artist reception in the gallery from 4 to 7 p.m. on July 31. Guest curator Kelly Ponti installed the exhibition.

For more information, contact gallery coordinator Mary Urbas at 440-525-7029 or MUrbas@lakeandcc.edu.

Ashtabula Arts Center

The Ashtabula Arts Center, 2928 W. 13th St., is seeking artists to participate in the first annual Paul and Norma Tikkanen Painting Prize.

Prizes will be awarded in two categories, abstract and realistic. First place, $12,000, second place, $5,000, and honorable mention, $1,000, are to be awarded for the digression of the jurors. Interested? Acceptable media include gouache, fresco, encaustic, ink (sumi-e), oil, acrylic, watercolor, alcohol inks, tempera, and mixed media paint.

The gallery is showing “Moods and Reflections: The Art of Tracy Parsons” through July 29.

More information is available at Ashtabulaartscenter.org or by calling 440-964-3396.

William E. Bennett