The National Juried Texas Spirit Art Show promises to be the biggest ever.
The annual show, which started four years ago, will feature 112 pieces by 68 artists from across the United States. The show was created to bring fine art to Graham and display it for tourists.
“We have a lot of new artists that have never been with us before,” said Marlene Edwards, director of the Old Post Office Museum and Art Center. “We have a very diverse election in subjects and larger paintings than ever before. It’s honestly some of the best work I’ve seen in a long time.”
Edwards said that the exhibit will showcase portraits, landscapes and watercolor, oil and acrylic paints and sculptures.
“A lot of it is Texas-themed, with cattle and fields of hay,” she said. “We have some really nice sculptures that are more realistic rather than impressionistic.”
Assistant OPOMAC director Jim Overcash said that this year’s exhibit is extremely impressive.
“It’s a big deal for Graham to have this quality of artwork,” he said. “We have a lot of watercolors, more than we have ever had before.”
For artist Jason Sacran of Magazine, Arkansas, this will be his fourth time exhibiting art in the show. He has exhibited art throughout the United States, with 40 shows last year and the same amount this year.
“I’m 100 percent excited about being in this year’s show,” he said. “I look forward to exhibiting alongside each one of (the participating artists).”
This will be the first time sculptor Sharon McConnell has showcased her work in the OPOMAC show. McConnell, a Dublin, Texas, resident, started entering her work into art shows in 2012. She sculpts her creations by clay and takes them to get bronzed. An avid horse rider, McConnell spends a lot of time with her horses.
“I ride my horses in the morning and I work on my sculpting after lunch, so I can only put out two or three sculptures a year, maybe four if I push it,” McConnell said. “I’m excited about being in this year’s show. Just getting juried into the show, that’s an honor really.”
Becky Hicks of Keller, who was also juried into the show, uses oil and acrylic paint to create her art. She has been painting since she was 5 years old. She and her mother, who was born in Graham, used to paint together until her mother passed away.
“She used to sit for hours and paint with me, and I think after losing her, art was one thing that in my childhood years made me feel closer to her,” she said.
An awards reception for the show will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at OPOMAC. Artwork will be exhibited from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday from June 10 to July 4 at OPOMAC.
Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.