43rd Valley Visual Art Show opens Friday | PostIndependent.com

43rd Valley Visual Art Show opens Friday

Art pieces by various local artists cover the gallery walls at the Launchpad in Carbondale for the 43rd annual Valley Visual Art Show.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

When the R2 Gallery opens its doors Friday morning, its walls will be lined with works from 60 local artists for the 43rd annual Valley Visual Art Show.

As Carbondale Arts brings in the new year, it does so by recognizing the local arts scene as it has done for nearly every year since 1980, from paintings to textiles to marble sculptures.

“It’s a show that represents the talent and creativity, vibe feeling of creatives in the valley,” Carbondale Arts Operations and Development Manager Kellyn Wardell said. “The one thing I notice this year is a lot of bright color. The artists’ work is required to be created recently, so it speaks to what people are feeling.”

Local cartoonist Larry Day’s submitted work is called “Autumn Trail.” It’s an oil painting on an 8-inch-by-18-inch panel, showcasing a trail in his native Illinois. After creating three or four other paintings in a field study, he was caught by the lighting on tall grass in a meadow, whipped out his paints and canvas one last time and produced the work.

Larry Day’s entry into the 43rd annual Valley Visual Art Show, “Autumn Trail”
Larry Day/Courtesy photo

Day has featured work in Valley Visual four times, he estimates. Each year, he’s struck by Carbondale’s commitment to the arts.

“What the art show does is it tells the community that we’re serious, we take the art seriously with great respect,” Day said.

A celebratory reception was planned for the first day of the show, but was postponed until February First Friday in light of the current spike of COVID-19 cases.

Further accommodating the pandemic, a virtual tour of the exhibit will be available online. Viewers can pan through the gallery and its rooms the same way it would an apartment or house on a realty website. Works will be available for purchase online and in person.

Visitors to the exhibit will also be invited to participate in the “People’s Choice Award” by voting for their favorite piece in the show.

The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The Feb. 4 artist reception is scheduled for 5-7 p.m.

Masks are required within the Launchpad at all times.

The show runs through Feb. 25.

“It’s interesting to see some of the same players and how consistently good they are,” Day said. “There’s such a wide variety that it really helps you feel like everyone matters in their artwork. Whatever degree they’re painting at, whatever they’re doing, it’s good to see the variety of the scale of talent. … It just kind of emulates the drive around here to do art.”

Reporter Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or rallen@postindependent.com.

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