BY BARBARA M. TOBIAS –
Mena Art Gallery has been working for the past year on a project that can bring a new kind of tourism to Mena: a national juried painting competition. This has the potential to bring not only the winning artists here for the award presentations but also art collectors from everywhere.
Most aspiring artists enter juried competitions because it is a big step up in their careers to have their work accepted into a competition where they are compared to other artists on a national scale. We will be offering a total of $12,000 in awards in order to attract talented artists from throughout the nation. This “Art of the Heartland” competition will be held in the fall of 2015.
The gallery has been raising the funds to cover expenses of this project (advertising in national art magazines, the awards, and all the other “overhead” required) during all of this year. We would like to extend a special thank you to the individuals and businesses who have already donated funds as well as make an appeal to those of you who have not yet done so to help with the $2,000 we have yet to go in order to reach our goal of $32,000. The entry fees and memberships fees required for this competition will produce revenue to cover the cost of the 2016 competition, so it has the potential to make the gallery self-sustaining and to bring tourist revenue to Mena for many years to come.
We’ll be making more information available as we progress, but please call the gallery at 479-394-3880 with your pledge of whatever part of that last $2,000 you are comfortable with. Or come by 607 Mena Street to talk to us in person during gallery hours of 11 am to 2 pm Tuesdays and 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.