Members' Show Reception 2024 - Two artists viewing artwork.

Lewisburg Arts Council’s Annual Members’ Show Celebrates Tenth Year

“Rewarding” is the word volunteer Barbara Baker uses to describe her work as the organizer of the Lewisburg Arts Council’s Annual Members’ Show, which turns 10 this year.

Baker has chaired the event since its inception in 2014 when she was approached by Director Roberta Greene, of the Public Library for Union County, about organizing an exhibit in the library’s lobby.  

The first show included 41 pieces created by 22 members of the Artists’ Guild, a special-interest group under the auspices of the Lewisburg Arts Council.  The show grew to include the Lewisburg Photography Club, a second special-interest group, after it was formed in 2016.  The largest show to date featured 101 pieces by 47 artists.  

Year to year, the show typically includes such media as oil, watercolor, fiber arts, and photography.  But there have been unexpected pieces as well:  pottery, jewelry, even origami.  

Over the years, the committee has worked to improve the experience for participating artists as well as for library patrons.  One of the more recent changes has been to schedule weekly meet-the-artists hours during the show.  Library visitors are encouraged to stop by and chat with the artists, to ask questions as the artist works on a piece, and sometimes even try their hand at an art activity.  

For Baker, engaging with visitors is one of the rewarding aspects of the show: “I get the chance to answer questions about the artists, the Arts Council, and different mediums. The visitors I speak with seem to enjoy it and appreciate the opportunity to discuss the show.”    

But the most rewarding part, for Baker, is hanging the show. “I really love the challenge of hanging the show, to display each piece of artwork to its best advantage,” explains Baker.   “It can be challenging because of the many different styles of artwork, mediums, framing, and sizes.”  (Picture trying to assemble a giant jigsaw puzzle without a photo on the box to guide you … That’s what hanging a show is like for the five members of the Exhibits Committee.)

Baker truly finds joy in giving each artist, no matter how experienced, the opportunity to see their creation hanging on the wall or displayed in a cabinet for visitors to see: “It can be intimidating to enter an art show. The artist is putting himself/herself on display and open for criticism. I want to make sure that each piece and each artist gets the chance to look their best.”  She adds, “It is also rewarding to see and hear the positive reactions during the reception and from visitors.”  

Lewisburg Arts Council President Della Hutchison notes, “I am always impressed by the talent on display in our Members’ Show.”  She adds, “I especially enjoy seeing how their work has changed or progressed since the previous show, what new techniques or media they have tried, and finding out what has captured their imagination in the past year.”

Because this show is not juried and there is no additional fee to participate, it is especially “user-friendly” to those who are just beginning their artistic journey.  Of course, it also includes work by creatives who have been honing their art form for years.  Anyone who was an Arts Council member in 2023 is eligible to participate in the 2024 show.  

This year’s show, at the Public Library for Union County, 255 Reitz Blvd., Lewisburg, opens Friday, February 2, and closes Wednesday, February 28.  Artwork is displayed in the library’s lobby during regular hours:  M, T, Th 9:30 am to 8:30 pm and W, F, Sat 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Stop by “Gallery 255” at the library on Tuesdays in February between 11 AM and 1 PM, when representatives will be available to engage with the public and to answer questions about the artwork, the Lewisburg Arts Council, the Photography Club, and the Artists’ Guild.  

You don’t have to be an artist yourself – or even an Arts Council member – to attend!