The Westmoreland Art Nationals lives up to its name, with exhibiting artists hailing from as near as Greensburg and as far as Florida, Massachusetts and Alaska.
The first of two annual juried exhibitions associated with the Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival opened with a Saturday evening reception at Westmoreland County Community College in Hempfield.
“The outstanding talent in this area and beyond is just amazing,” said the festival’s Executive Director Diane Shrader, noting that there were 501 submissions overall, with 106 accepted.
“We’re thankful for that person who put us over 500,” she joked.
Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Review
Best in Show Award winner Cindy Morris (center) of Elizabeth with Erin Shrader, assistant executive director of the Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival, and the artist’s husband, Mace Morris, at the May 21 opening of the Westmoreland Art Nationals at Westmoreland County Community College.
Artists and art lovers gathered around to hear the following awards announced:
• Best in Show: “Skizzy’s Dream,” stained glass by Cindy Morris of Elizabeth
• Curator’s Choice Award: “A Saucer of Loneliness,” digital art by Keith Bastianini of Bethel Park
• WCCC President’s Choice Award: “Bella Terra Part Deux,” infrared photography by Alexis Dillon of Greensburg
• Painting Award: “Joy,” by Richard Harydzak of Murrysville
• Graphics Award: “Lake Ladder,” by Lauren Scavo-Fulk of Jeannette
• Craft Award: “Oval Pitcher,” by Stephen Heywood of Hollywood, Fla.
• Sculpture Award: “Goddess of the Morning,” by Bryon Draper of Springville, Utah
• Photography Award: “Foggy Morning at the Lake,” by James Murphy of Greensburg
• Mixed Media Award: “Sun,” by Ron Nigro of Trafford
• Digital Media/Digital Art Award: “Hold On,” by Lynda Kirby of Baden
• New Entrant Award: “Intellectual Jousting,” acrylic and ink by Annabelle Tarr of Greensburg.
Shrader noted that the festival always chooses an out-of-state juror, with entries identified only by number.
This year’s juror was artist Mary Ellen Wherli of Lewisville, Texas. Wherli has exhibited in juried shows in Texas and California and her work is exhibited in many public buildings and museums.
Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Review
Curator Nick Silvis (center) with curatorial assistants Suzie Bergman and Eric Kim at the May 21 opening of the Westmoreland Art Nationals at Westmoreland County Community College.
Curator for the WCCC exhibit was artist Nick Silvis of Greensburg, a fine arts graduate of WCCC and Seton Hill University with an interest in large-scale sculpture, installation art and jewelry design. He has been both curator and curatorial assistant for previous Art Nationals.
His curatorial assistants were Suzie Bergman and Eric Kim.
The Art Nationals were presented online in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.
“It was nice to be able to do it digitally, but we’re glad to be back in person,” Shrader said.
The exhibition continues through June 8 in Commissioners Hall. Visitors can vote for a favorite piece for the People’s Choice Award, to be announced during the opening reception for the second exhibition, set for 6 to 8 p.m. on June 25 in the activity center at Twin Lakes Park east of Greensburg.
The second exhibition, curated by local artist Jeff Donato, will run concurrently with the festival, June 30 through July 3. Awards will be announced at 7 p.m. during the reception.
Seen at WCCC: Erin Shrader, Snooky Williams, Jennifer Benford, Paul and Mandy Sirofchuck, Mace Morris, Tamara DiBartola, Candace Haffinger, Nancy Rusbosin, Scott and Janet Anderson, Sean Gallagher and Sherrie Dunlap Gallagher, Bethany Gary, Teresa Olivo, Amanda Olivo, Chloe Walls, Tsamara Roberts, Andrew Hazelton and Camille Valenza-Hazelton, Eileen Yeager, Fred and Cathy Silvis, Barbara Ferrier, Brandon Fiume and Jessica Schulte, Jon Mullin and Devon Frohnhofer.