Art show celebrates 14th year with 96 original works depicting Schuylkill River Region

Best of Show, Abandoned Church Building, Oil on gesso board by Shamarukh N. Billah.
Best of Show, Abandoned Church Building, Oil on gesso board by Shamarukh N. Billah. Submitted photo

For 14 years, the Annual Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show and Sale has provided a platform for regional artists whose work depicts the beauty and character of the Schuylkill River valley. Over that time, it has developed a following in the art community, and grown to attract numerous talented artists who work in a variety of mediums and styles.

Hosted by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area in partnership with Montgomery County Community College, the juried exhibit will hang from through Dec. 17 at the college’s West Campus Gallery at 16 West High St. in Pottstown.

This year’s show includes of 96 drawings, paintings and photographs by over 60 artists. All works were carefully selected from 128 submissions by juror Rachel McCay, assistant curator for the Woodmere Museum of Art in Philadelphia.

McCay selected three winning entries and four honorable mentions. Shamarukh N. Billah earned Best of Show for her oil on gesso board painting “Abandoned Church Building.” That award came with a cash prize of $300. The second place award went to Veronika Berry for her collage “Great Blue Heron on the Schuylkill River,” and Steven J. White took third place for his river watercolor scene, “Essence.” Berry and White were awarded $200 and $100, respectively.

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The four honorable mentions included two for photography and two for paintings. In the photography category, the awards went to Walt Hug, for his sunset image “Looking Back,” and to Kevin Bennett for his bridge photo “Good Morning Manayunk!”

The other honorable mentions were awarded to Jean Plough for her acrylic “Market Street Bridge,” and to Merrill Webber for her watercolor of paddlers on the river, “Sojourn.”

In addition, the Schuylkill River Heritage Area staff selected a Staff’s Choice award that went to Betz Green for her oil on board “Prophecy Creek Park—First Frost.” Honorable mentions and staff choice all receive $50 awards. All winners also will be given gift certificates to North Penn Art, in addition to the cash prizes.

This year, for the first time, the show will be extended with a selection of 15 pieces of art to be exhibited at the Walk In Art Center in Schuylkill Haven, from December 20 to January 31. That exhibit will expand the reach of the increasingly popular Scenes of the Schuylkill, and will maximize exposure for the artists and the show’s top pieces.

Most works in the show are available for sale, and a portion of all proceeds benefits the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.

The show is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. New Saturday hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information contact the SRHA at 484-945-0200. For photos of the winning entries and more show details: www.schuylkillriver.org/Detail.aspx?id=1546.

The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, managed by the non-profit Schuylkill River Greenway Association, uses conservation, education, recreation, cultural and historic preservation and tourism as tools for community revitalization and economic development. For more information visit www.schuylkillriver.org.