"This is a new direction for them to involve the community in one of their exhibits," Mandigo said. "It's a big change."
A reception will be held tonight from
Tonight's reception will feature readings of poetry that was entered in LEAF's contest, refreshments and live acoustic music by
The theme of LEAF's 4th Annual Arts and Poetry contest was 'It's a Wonderful Life,' and was based on the classic 1946 film of the same name that depicts "how one man's contributions can lead an entire community toward the darkness or toward the light," a media release for the contest said.
The artists and poets were asked to enter work that explores overcoming obstacles to find the joy and beauty in life, the release said. In honor of the film, all submitted art was in black-and-white.
Art from more than 50 Otsego County artists will be displayed at the Fenimore exhibit, Mandigo said. LEAF artists and poets range from award-winning professionals to youth and community members who are passionate about the theme but have never entered a contest or had their work shown in a gallery before, she said.
"The artists range in age from 8 to 85," Mandigo said. "And they come from every socioeconomic bracket. For their art to be displayed in a museum of this quality, and for entry to the reception itself to be free of charge, that's a big deal. It's so generous and kind of the museum to give us this opportunity."
"I'm hoping to help the museums become much more community-oriented," Newell said. "I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to display art here that is so meaningful to the community."
Newell said it was a "no-brainer" to work with LEAF on the project. She has worked with Mandigo in the past and admires LEAF's mission, she said.
Mandigo said 14-year-old
The poem is about his brother who suffers with addiction. It was "very powerful," Mandigo said. LEAF organizers were so moved that they read the poem last week at state Sen.
Award-winning art that will be on display at the Fenimore includes: first-place winner in the under 18 art category, 'Feel Love' by
Mandigo said it's important to branch out to the
"The artwork that will be displayed has so much heart and soul and deals with hope and overcoming challenges," Mandigo said, "which everyone can relate to."
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