Fifth annual County Visual Arts Exhibit opens Saturday with support from IAC

Monday, July 8, 2024
An estimated 780 people enjoyed the countywide arts exhibit last year at the Putnam County Museum. Organizers of the Fifth Annual Putnam County Adult Visual Arts Exhibition — open to all visual artists who live, work or have studied in Putnam County -- will recognize participants at this year’s opening reception at PCM on Saturday, July 13 from 2–5 p.m. with award winners to be announced at 3 p.m. The exhibit runs for 10 weeks through Sept. 20. Museum admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Courtesy photo

With collective support from the Greencastle Arts Council, Putnam County Museum and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC), the fifth annual Putnam County Adult Visual Arts Exhibition will open to the public with a reception honoring this year’s participants and award recipients on Saturday, July 13, from 2-5 p.m. at the museum, 1105 N. Jackson St.

Adjudicators for this year’s show will be Washington Township resident Steve Aker, a longtime collector with knowledge and an eye in particular for Indiana art. Joining him is Greencastle resident Martha Opdahl, an accomplished, nationally recognized visual artist and former director of exhibits at DePauw University.

In addition to first- and second-place prizes, funds raised in support of this event also will include a Museum Purchase Prize, which allows for a significant new work to be added annually to the Putnam County Museum’s permanent collection.

This year’s show, co-chaired by Arts Council board members Suzanne Hassler and Connie Wagner in collaboration with PCM director Lisa Mock, will run through Sept. 20, after which the ballots for the final prize, the People’s Choice Award, will be counted and that winner announced.

All submissions are original works created by artists who have lived, worked, studied or were born in Putnam County. Begun in 2020 with just 23 artists in its first year, the current exhibit will include more than 60 pieces by 47 area artists, representing a diversity of talent and creative mediums from 2-D painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and fiber arts, to 3-D sculpture, metal working, jewelry making and ceramics.

“Visitors to the show sometimes express surprise at the quality and range of talent represented, which we are pleased to see as it continues to grow,” Mock said. “We received work from several people this year who have been supporters or members of PCM and the Arts Council, who had not participated in past exhibits but did this year, which adds to the excitement of the show. I believe it is more fulfilling to participate — to jump in and join the fun — rather than just observe.”

“We chose to be as inclusive as possible, so expect to see a wide range of new works by both established and emerging artists as the show grows into an event in which we share not only a lot of local pride, but one that also merited increased support this year from the IAC,” Hassler noted.

In addition to the number of artists participating in the exhibit, there were nearly twice as many applicants this fiscal year for Indiana Arts Commission grants from the Terre Haute Region 6 area, which includes Putnam County. This could have meant funding would be spread more sparingly over a larger number of projects, however, the amount awarded to the Arts Council, gratefully, increased. That, in turn, allowed the organizers to cover submission fees, matting and framing for clients invited to participate from Putnam County Comprehensive Services, as well as artists enrolled in the IU-Prison Arts Initiative, a program begun last year in Putnamville.

“The Arts Council has been on a two-fold mission to increase not only its funding for the arts, but equally as important, to also increase support for the arts through participation, so seeing this growth is great in both regards,” Hassler added.

Both the opening reception and the exhibit at PCM are free to all. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday. Funds received from the IAC also will allow the museum to be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. through Sept. 20. Mock welcomes everyone to PCM, not just to see the show — but also to participate. “While you’re here, pick up a ballot and vote for the People’s Choice Award!”

For additional information, visit the PCM or GAC websites: and These activities are made possible in part by Arts Illiana and the Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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