May exhibition reception promises People’s Choice Award competition for attendees

Any work that exceeds three inches in depth fall into the “3-D” category. The piece may be made of wood, metal, clay, glass, or any other material. Each category wil have a first, second and third place as well as honorable mention. Best in show will be chosen by Biletnikoff from any category. Courtesy of Janet Loupe Davis 

The Hammond Art Guild is preparing to showcase local artists for its 55th Annual Spring Open Fine Art Exhibition. 

The reception will be held May 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Hammond Regional Arts Center. The exhibition will continue until May 26. Both reception and exhibition will be free and open to the public. Artists who won awards will talk about their award-winning artwork and tour the gallery as the last event for the “Let’s Talk: Art” series on May 10 from 5-6 p.m. 

“This year’s reception will have live music by Jim Fournet, wine and refreshments,” said HRAC Media Coordinator Tara Bennett. “Viewers may vote for the People’s Choice Award and participate in an art raffle for $1 a chance. This year’s judge is Mark Biletnikoff, the gallery owner in the Bocage Cultural District of Baton Rouge.” 




Art submissions closed on May 1.

“We never know how many people we’re gonna get, how many artists are gonna bring those pieces in,” said Hammond Art Guild President and Show Chair Nancy Lowentritt. “Typically, we get around 100 pieces of art of all shapes and sizes. You can enter up to three pieces. We usually have 45 or 50 people entering from Hammond and from the whole region, far away as New Orleans, far away as Baton Rouge, Covington.”

The three categories are two-dimensional, three-dimensional and image development. Biletnikoff will award a first, second and third place for each category as well as a best in show chosen from any artwork. Artists can win cash and ribbons. Artworks are expected to include paintings, sculpture, ceramics, etchings, photographs and mixed media.  

“It’s not just typical, traditional water colors and oil paintings,” said Lowentritt. “It’s all different kinds of media and pieces on pedestals and paintings on the wall and photography and all the things I mentioned before. It just makes more of an interesting show and having live music, having it be a judged show, having artists who are not members exhibiting all makes it very exciting.”

Local high school students were also invited to participate. 

“This is our second year including students,” said Lowentritt. “I think we’ll have a lot more people than we had last year. Last year, we had four students. This year, I think we’ll have probably somewhere around 20, 25 students if we’re lucky ‘cause more teachers found out about it, and we’ve been trying to encourage the school to encourage students to enter the show. It gives them an opportunity to see what it’s like to enter a show, a professional show.” 

Attendees can purchase their favorite artwork or win one in a raffle. 

“We also do an art raffle, so each person who enters the show is invited to also bring along a piece that they’re willing to donate,” said Lowentritt. “Last year, we had about 30 pieces and people bought raffle tickets. For a dollar a chance you might win a piece of art from one of the exhibiting artists.”