VISTA — Even in their new space, even with the neighboring building opened for the event, the Vista Art Foundation’s Gallery 204 on Main Street was still packed to the gills with patrons who came out for the first Open Juried Art Show on Feb. 14.
A variety of cash prizes were up for grabs for the 160 artists who submitted 296 pieces. Only 124 actually made it into the show, but even that was enough to line virtually every vertical space in the gallery.
The event was not only a chance to showcase local art, but also an opportunity for the community to discover the art gallery. The foundation required all of the submissions be made at the gallery, going against the current trend to submit work digitally for online review.
“If we had just done it online, they wouldn’t have come in,” foundation Vice President Rebecca Amroian said. “This show brought in 50 new members, people from all over.”
“The committee did an excellent job of getting word of this juried show all up and down the coast and everywhere,” President Susan Roncone said. “Most of the people in the contest, I don’t even know.”
The Vista Art Foundation’s gallery has been a raving success since it moved across the street to its new location. Despite a tripled rent and utility bills the foundation didn’t have to pay before, the foundation’s balance sheet is well in the black. Roncone attributes this success to the in-gallery studios which it rents out, as well as the gift shop. The foundation has also held several lucrative sales.
“This defies the economic situation,” Roncone said. “We’re successful in a time you wouldn’t expect it.”
The gallery’s next event will be an installation of Karen Brake’s work at 5:30 p.m. March 13.
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