Go! staff – December 14, 2021
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LA GRANDE — “The Big,” Art Center East’s annual open exhibit, opened Friday, Dec. 3, and will be on display through Jan. 29, 2022.
The exhibit fills ACE’s main and co-op galleries with works by Pacific Northwest artists in a wide range of artistic mediums. The galleries are open to the public and admission is always free.
The Big is a non-juried exhibit open to anyone who would like to participate.
“We love this annual exhibit because of the artists it brings out of the woodwork,” said Art Center East Executive Director Darcy Dolge. “We are fortunate to live in a region with an active community of professional and amateur artists, any of whom can exhibit in The Big.”
All artwork submissions are eligible to win cash prizes awarded by the exhibit judge. Awards include Best of Show, Best 3D, Best 2D, Outstanding Jewelry, Best Creative Glass (sponsored by Birddog Glass of La Grande), Best in Fiber (sponsored by Knitkabob of Union), Photography (sponsored by Cook Memorial Library of La Grande for a commercially printed work), the Fred Hill Best Photography Award for self-printed artworks, and Art Center East Honorable Mentions.
This year’s judge was multimedia artist Robert Anders of Baker City. Anders’ broad artistic interests include sculpture, painting, and printmaking. The winning submissions were announced Dec. 3 at The Big’s opening reception.
Here are the award winners:
Best of Show: Debra Otterstein, “Raven’s Call”
Best in 3D: Una Walker, “Chair #2”
Best in 2D: Damian Garcia, “The Death of My Own Kind”
Best in Fiber: Jo Cowling, “Birds of Union County”
Best in Photography: Teresa Stearns Uriarte, “Sunrise and Wildflowers”
Outstanding Jewelry: Phoebe Smith, “Ocean Jasper”
Best Creative Glass: Jason Walker, “You’re Mine”
A final prize, the People’s Choice Award, is determined by exhibit attendees who vote throughout the exhibit’s duration. This prize is awarded on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, during the exhibit’s closing reception from 6-8 p.m.
According to a press release, “The Big features a diverse selection of artworks from ceramics and painting to mixed media, fiber arts and photography.” Much of the work on display is available for purchase.
Find out more about this event and others at www.artcentereast.org. Art Center East is at 1006 Penn Ave. in La Grande. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon-5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Exhibits can also be viewed online at www.artcentereast.org.