Fall has come and with it comes the start of the holiday seasons. Just as the leaves shift colors around us and the decorations change, we also get to look forward to the upcoming gatherings.

Friends and loved ones traveling to spend time together and share in celebrations. This wonderful feeling was one we were able to capture with the awards reception for our 11th annual National Juried Show. Artists from across the states came together to share in the creation of art and celebrate the success of each other.

The recent show at SAGE Community Arts exhibition gallery was truly a unique and fascinating display of talent. The exhibition showcased multiple mediums ranging from small bronze and wooden sculptures to mixed media to multiple types of paint mediums. For this years’ juried show, we were honored and excited to get to have T. Allen Lawson as our juror. Lawson curated a show that embodied what we strive for at SAGE. It was a representation of a community pulled together from across the nation by the visual arts.

The National Juried show brings a special visibility to the arts community. The pool of submissions came from 30 different states by 120 different artists. This is amazing publicity for the SAGE art gallery and the community we are working to build and inspire. The final show consisted of 29 artists, displaying 40 works of art from 12 different states. Bringing together so many different types of artwork and styles allows for all the artists to be exposed to new ideas and designs and hopefully be motivated to keep creating new works of art.

Having the many different artists come to the Sheridan community is great enrichment for all. Drawing new people to the community not only exposes the artists to the rich arts culture that Sheridan and the surrounding areas has to offer, but it enriches the local economy as well. When the traveling artists or art appreciators come to the area, they will end up spending twice as much in the community as their local counterparts. This not only means they will spend on the arts but will share the wealth with other businesses in the community, thus driving prosperity in the community for all organizations.

Building community through the visual arts by pulling together such a diverse group of artists is exactly what the Juried Show strives to accomplish. Artists from all over are able to travel in and are given a platform to have their art seen by a new audience. The artists in turn are exposed to a thriving arts culture and community in the beautiful mountain west. 

Jill Benson is executive director of SAGE Community Arts. 

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