WATERVILLE — Artists have until Friday to register artwork early for the 2016 Maine Open Juried Art Show, which opens March 20 at Waterville Public Library and features more than 100 works.

The show “is the ultimate showcase for the talent that we have in this state, especially in this area,” Amy Cyrway, president of the Waterville Area Art Society, said Monday. “I find it very inspiring. It’s an amazing show. It’s different every single year and it’s breathtaking. I love working on it. I love seeing it as an art appreciator and as an artist.” The art society presents the show along with Waterville Main Street and the library.

The 26th annual show, which runs through April 22, features works in oils, watercolor, pastels, acrylics and other media. Early registration is $30. After Friday pieces will still be accepted for a fee of $50 until the morning of March 19.

“Entries are all over the board,” Cyrway said. “We’ve got the traditional works in the major categories — oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolors and other media. It ranges from traditional classical schools to people just experimenting. We’ve got some amazing work. Bill Tomsa usually does still lifes but one year he did an interesting hanging sculpture, just beautifully balanced.”

The maximum size for an entry is 45 inches wide and 55 inches tall, including the frame.

“The best bet is to work smaller than that because of the space constraints,” Cyrway said.

Artists may enter up to two pieces.

“Because of the venue, we can’t do three-dimensional, free-standing sculpture, but if they are wall hangings that stick out less than 2 inches, we can accept those,” Cyrway said.

One artist who typically enters the show does intricate wood carvings that hang on the wall, she said.

The three judges are Kimberly Bentley of Portland, who formerly taught at Common Street Arts in Waterville; Bruce Hutchison, an artist and Waterville native now living in Portland; and Andrew Gelfand, the Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow at Colby College Museum of Art. Pieces are accepted between 9:30 and 11 a.m. Saturday, March 19, and judging takes place 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. that day. Typically, between 160 and 180 pieces are entered in the show and about 130 get accepted, Cyrway said.

Artists enter from as far south as Berwick and as far north as Ellsworth and Millinocket, she said. Entrants are from all over Maine, but mostly from the area between Bangor and Portland, she said.

Cyrway is an illustrator who for years entered pieces in the show. The first year she entered, in 2004, when she was an employee of The Framemakers downtown, she won an honorable mention for a 30-by-20-inch illustration of a Transformer she had done in colored pencil and marker and for which she won a first place at a Transformer convention in Chicago.

In 2007, she became a member of the board of directors for the Art Society, as well as a member of the board for the Maine Open Juried Art Show. In 2008, Waterville Main Street started partnering with the Art Society to help present the show and Cyrway took over as president of the Art Society.

Now owner of The Framemakers with her husband, Brian Vigue, Cyrway is heavily involved in the arts in the city and is particularly enthusiastic about the variety of pieces featured in the upcoming show. Vigue, a computer graphic illustrator, is a member-at-large on the Art Society board and helps coordinate volunteers for the show.

First, second and third place awards and two honorable mentions are given in each of the five major categories — oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and other media. First, second and third-place winners get ribbons and cash. Honorable mention winners receive gift certificates.

The Waterville Area Art Society gives out a Judges Choice Award in the amount of $200 for achievement. The Marilyn Dwelley Realistic Landscape Award is $500.

The awards are funded mostly through sponsorship donations from the Art Society, Colby museum, The Framemakers, Kennebec Savings Bank, Maine State Credit Union and others.

Cyrway said she encourages people to come to the show opening from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, in the fireplace room on the first floor at the library.

“It’s a reception,” she said. “We have it catered and that’s when we announce the winners.”

The awards ceremony itself is held in the large print reading room on the fourth floor.

“We love having the show at the library,” Cyrway said. “We feel like a lot of non-artists are exposed to art and are inspired by that. At the library, it’s the general population. You get someone going in for a DVD and all of a sudden, what’s that? That’s the kind of people we want to draw.”

The art show, free and open to the public, is possible with help from volunteers and others, according to Cyrway.

June L’Heureux, office manager and interim director of Waterville Main Street, coordinates the show, Cyrway said.

“She’s amazing. She’s been a huge help ever since we partnered up with Waterville Main Street. She’s outstanding. Things get done. She’s phenomenal.”

Artists entering pieces in the show must be 18 or older and be part- or full-time residents of Maine. They may enter by going to watervillemainstreet.org or FB.com/waasmaine, the Art Society’s Facebook page. Entries may be dropped off at Waterville Main Street at 44 Main St., Suite 202.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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